2020 Season in Review

With the news of a mandatory 4WD design for the following year, McMaster Baja Racing’s 2020 season aimed to lay a strong foundation of AWD knowledge and design, jumpstarting a new era of McMaster Baja Racing vehicles. Facing many unexpected challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, the team powered through the end of the season, virtually competing at Baja SAE Illinois and placing our best at 17th overall.

Although optional for Baja SAE 2020, the team decided to get a head start on the 4WD design challenge. The new approach featured a front differential and mid-mounted engine situated beside the driver to maintain an optimal CoG. The front differential’s design included a failsafe that would revert to RWD by component failure or manual engagement. The new configuration forced design advancements in all subsystems, most substantially in drivetrain, suspension, and ergonomics.

The spread of COVID-19 forced closures of non-essential facilities and event cancellations, restricting access to the machine shop, build space, and dynamic events at Baja SAE competitions. Nonetheless, McMaster Baja Racing demonstrated grit and commitment to finishing the team’s most ground-breaking design.

Even though the 2020 car was not able to be built, the team was still able to present this season’s innovative design in the Baja SAE Illinois static events, performing our personal best to date. Placing 13th in cost, 15th in both design and sales presentations, and granted the 4WD bonus, the McMaster Baja Racing team placed 17th overall out of 70 teams.

With MBR 2020’s novel design and record performance in competition, this season promises significant potential for the future of McMaster Baja Racing.

2019 Season Throwback Overview

2019 was an exciting year for the team! Another set of members were set to graduate this year and were aiming to build a fantastic car. Some highlights from the design this year was switching from air shocks to coil overs which the team had run for 5 years by then, and a fully custom CVT.

A lot of new members were put into leadership roles which allowed for another wave of fresh, new ideas. The new members from this year also continued on to become key members of our team later down the road.

Our first competition for the season, Midnight Mayhem, didn’t turn out as we had hope with both vehicles being taken having transmission issues. However by the time our second competition came around, Laval, we fixed those problems along with a few other things that we tuned to do very well. Not only did we do amazing in suspension with a 4th, we got 1st in acceleration! We went on to finish 10th in the endurance with our 2018 vehicle.

At our official competitions we did well and had a lot of fun! For California in particular we finished 4th in hill climb.

2018 Season Throwback Overview

After a large number of past veteran members of the team graduated the prior season, a fresh start was something the team has not had for a few years. With that being said, all leads and members this year were amazing when it came to design and dedication.

This year was more of a year to start a proper foundation for the team for future years where we iterated on past designs to improve them like a refurbished 2016 chassis, all aluminum suspension again, and a lighter drivetrain.

Our first competition of the 2018 year started off strong when we finished 9th overall at our winter event. We achieved 3rd in acceleration, 5th in suspension, and 7th in maneuverability. While our 2016 car had a combined suspension and drivetrain failure which was unfortunate, our then oldest car, 2014, finished endurance for a proper final send off of the car.

Us arriving to our first official competition for the year started with the typical push for the finish of all nighters and great teamwork! At Baja SAE Maryland we got a 13th in design and finished 23rd for endurance which was the best the team had done for that event up until then!

This car and team really showed what they were made of and gave a push for the following years of McMaster Baja Racing!

Baja SAE 2017


McMaster Baja Racing had our strongest performance during the 2016-2017 official competition season with many successes and improvements. The team participated in two of three official international competitions in the United States; Baja SAE California in Gorman, California, and Baja SAE Kansas in Pittsburgh, Kansas. This season the team obtained overall placements within the top 30 out of ~100 participating teams at both competitions.


The first official competition of the 2016-2017 racing season was held in Gorman, California. At this competition, the McMaster Baja Racing team experienced not only many improvements, but also many firsts. The improvements the team achieved include: a 12th and 26th in the sales and design presentations respectively, 15th in hill climb, and 27th in the endurance race—the first time the team successfully completed the four-hour endurance race in five years—ultimately leading to an overall placement of 30th out of 92 teams.


The final race of the 2016-2017 official racing season was held in Pittsburgh, Kansas. The McMaster Baja Racing continued to push for success through passing both the technical and brake inspections on the first attempt, experiencing no component failures, and improving upon the standings from the California competition. In Kansas, the McMaster Baja Racing Team placed: 13th and 30th in the sales and design presentations respectively, 16th in acceleration, 17th in maneuverability, and 15th in the four-hour endurance race. This lead the team to achieve an overall placement of 24th out of 109 teams.

A huge thank you to all of our 2016-2017 sponsors. We would not be able to do what what we do without your continued support. We look forward to the 2018 season with many new ideas in store!

Epreuve du Nord 2017

Epreuve du Nord 2017 was a success! McMaster Baja traveled to Quebec City for Epreuve du Nord hosted by Laval University. We placed 1st overall in dynamic events and came 3rd in acceleration, 4th in suspension (losing by only .02s hand time). We placed 15th overall after coming 18th in endurance. Our new prototype trailing arms managed to survive the weekend despite a few roll over incidents. We are currently in the middle of manufacturing and testing components for our 2017 car. Check out our Instagram and Facebook page for more updates as we prepare for Baja SAE California 2017!

Baja SAE Rochester 2016


Our last competition of the year was at BAJA SAE Rochester, we had a great weekend and are really happy with our results. Highlights of the weekend are 7th in Acceleration, 11th in Hillclimb, 19th in Design Presentation and 39th Overall.

A huge thank you goes out to all our amazing sponsors. Your support makes this team work and there is no way we would be able to do it without you. You can find links to all of our sponsor websites here.


We are already getting pumped for next year and we look forward to an even better 2017 competition season!