Winter 2014 in Louisville has been pretty rough compared to recent years; sub-zero temperatures, several inches of snow, and plenty of snow days and delayed schedule days on campus. While in Canada, we accumulated more snow in 24 hours (the 72nd consecutive day of snowfall in Quebec) than we had in Louisville this winter! Walking track to track on dynamic day usually meant sinking into waist deep snow at least once or twice and the tracks were not marked with cones but were just carved out of the snow that had accumulated over the past 72 days. Travelling from Montreal to Quebec City was interesting as we were the only team to attend that did not own a set of snow tires for their truck. We were clearly “Out of Our Element.”
Each baja car built at UofL is given a name based upon the personality that car develops during the season. The 2009 car was named the Chariot of Darkness for being the teams first all black paint schemed car. 2010, The Troop, for its black and white Stormtrooper appearance. In 2011 the car was named Leroy based on a World of Warcraft youtube video because like Leroy Jenkins in the video, Leroy has a tendency to do whatever it wants at times. In 2012, car built Junior; a car that is nearly identical to Leroy with only minor changes to fix mistakes made on Leroy.
Early in the season the team decided that the 2013 car was going to be the team’s first girl because of the curves and hips given to the car’s shape with the new carbon fiber body. So that was part one of the process for naming the car. At the first and second competitions, the car had a tendency of getting “lost” on the endurance track. The car would break down and because the team had no way of seeing or communicating with the driver, they would have no idea where the car was until it appeared in the pits being towed by an ATV; thus, it got “lost.” The car was then aptly named Carmen after the computer game character from the 80’s and 90’s Carmen Sandiego.
This recurring theme of getting lost in the woods not only inspired the name for Carmen but, also became an appropriate title to our 2013 season video. And so without further ado, the 2013 University of Louisville Baja team presents Lost in the Woods.