Wild Ride – A Look at Wichita State’s Baja Racing Team

Wichita State Baja SAE racing team.Photo courtesy of Wichita State Baja Racing Team

Wichita State University is home to a group of students who like to live life in the fast lane, quite literally. The Baja SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Racing Team is more than just speed enthusiasts; they are a testament to the power of teamwork, passion and the pursuit of adventure. With their relentless dedication, these students are not just shaping their own destinies, but also inspiring countless others to embrace their dreams and conquer the rugged terrain of life’s challenges.

The team was formed in 1986 and competes annually in off-road motorsports events to test their automotive designs and builds. Any Wichita State student is eligible to join the team with an estimated time commitment of four hours per week.

The Team’s Spirit

One of the first things noticeable about the team's members is their infectious spirit. These young racers share a deep love for all things automotive, and that enthusiasm radiates from every member. It’s not just about building a vehicle, it’s about camaraderie, friendships and the shared dream of taking on the roughest terrains.

Cole McDaniel, chief engineer, behind the wheel of the Baja vehicle at competition.Photo courtesy of Wichita State Baja Racing Team
Cole McDaniel, chief engineer, behind the wheel of the Baja vehicle at competition.


A Diverse Group

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Baja team is the diversity that can be found among its members. Within this close-knit group, you will find students hailing from an array of backgrounds and pursuing a wide range of academic majors. They converge with a shared fervor for the exhilarating world of off-road racing, making the team a true melting pot of talents and interests.

Pushing Boundaries

Every year the team embarks on a journey to test and transcend their own limits, both on and off the track. Their unwavering commitment to improvement is the driving force that propels them forward, pushing boundaries and reaching new heights of excellence. Their competitions are not merely races; they are examples of determination and perseverance.

Community Engagement

While racing is at the heart of the team’s passion, their impact goes beyond the track. They serve as role models for aspiring racers and engineers, showing them that with dedication and a love for adventure, dreams can be achieved. The team also volunteers for community events such as The Prairie Fire Marathon, Trunk or Treat, Clean Streams cleaning the Arkansas River, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Through outreach programs and community engagement, they aim inspire the next generation of students to reach for the highest achievements.

As we’ve glimpsed into the world of Wichita State’s Baja SAE racing team, it is clear their journey is more than just a race. They are a shining example of what happens when passion, teamwork, and a love for adventure come together. As they continue to conquer off-road tracks and inspire others to chase their own dreams, there’s no doubt that their spirit of adventure will continue to leave a lasting impression on the university and the racing community.  


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