Baja Event less than a month away, volunteer now

With less than a month to go before about 1,000 people arrive at Tennessee Tech University for SAE Baja 2008, the pond, jumps, trenches and other obstacles are all taking shape on the competition course despite weather challenges.

Justin Stacy, lead course designer, says about 70 percent of the obstacles are in place, even though almost every weekend that organizers scheduled site work brought heavy rains.

"About 25 people have already put in a couple of thousand total hours working on the course," said Stacy. "We've got quite a bit more digging, plus we need to build a staircase. Rain has kept us out of a couple of areas."

Stacy encourages faculty and staff members to check out the course--located between Ninth and 12 th Streets bordering Pine Avenue--and begin signing up to volunteer during the three-day event on May 1, 2 and 3.

"There are so many ways volunteers can help, including being flag persons, handing out water, issuing radios and selling T-shirts," he said.

Shuttle buses will run from the Capital Quad area to the competition site to alleviate parking issues during the weekend in which spring commencement is also scheduled.

Currently 93 teams from the United States, Canada, South Korea, Columbia, India, France, Venezuela and Mexico will compete. TTU's team won the Dayton Cup, the national Mini Baja award for the year's best team, in 2002 and 2003. TTU has 11 first place finishes and 25 Top 5 finishes since the team began competing in 1978.

To learn more about the race or to register as a volunteer, visit