Full Circle - Back to Tennessee for 2016 SAE Comp

One quick eight-hour drive brought us to the land of Cookeville, Tennessee! Twenty-one team members were able to make it out to competition, including ten very excited Motorkittens who had no idea what was in store.

A few people spent a good deal of the night before Technical Inspection doing some final rules fixes, mainly on the CVT guard, but we felt good about the shape Elbows was in for the following few days.

Putting the finishing touches on Elbows in the paddocks before Tech Inspection the following morning

In fact, we had the smoothest Tech in (known) NU Baja history! However, the line was moving pretty slowly, so by the time we were halfway through our first inspection, it was time to move over to our Design Presentation slot, and we hurried over to that area. Design also went extraordinarily well, and later we learned that we tied for 21st out of 100 teams in that event. We hopped back in line for Tech after that and passed with flying colors!

Design leads talking to the judges at the Design Presentation

Design leads talking to the judges at the Design Presentation

We passed Tech and Brakes!

We passed Tech and Brakes!

Saturday was spent doing the various dynamic events - acceleration, maneuverability, sled pull, and suspension. Acceleration and maneuverability went quite well, but we ran into some issues with our sled pull and suspension events. We'd never been to a competition with a sled pull event before, and it turns out that Elbows' tow hitch is a little too low to complete the sled pull. And at the suspension event, our kill switch position was at an unfortunate location, since both of our drivers' legs hit it halfway through the course. We did get some distance points on those though!

Zooming down the acceleration lane

Zooming down the acceleration lane

Mikey and Drew expertly navigated the Maneuverability course

Mikey and Drew expertly navigated the Maneuverability course

The little engine that (almost) could!

The little engine that (almost) could!

Sunday (Endurance Day) dawned bright and sunny. Some were more ready for it than others. Many of the 'Kittens valiantly volunteered as track workers for the four hour race and had a lot of fun doing it!

Alex (foreground) looks excited for the endurance race

Alex (foreground) looks excited for the endurance race

Track workers from left to right: Chris, Blake, Spencer, Steph, Gaurav, Connor, Joe H, and Brooke

Track workers from left to right: Chris, Blake, Spencer, Steph, Gaurav, Connor, Joe H, and Brooke

We're all really proud of how competitively Elbows performed during the race. We got six drivers into the seat and had a few quick pit stops to fix brake light wiring and a dented hub, but we were on the track for the majority of the four hours. Overall, we got 47th place in the competition, up from 71st in Maryland last year!

And of course - a bucket of water for our beloved cap'n

And of course - a bucket of water for our beloved cap'n