Louisville Midnight Mayhem XI

Mayhem XI Logo 1a.png

We are just days away from opening registration for Midnight Mayhem XI! 

First of all, thank you to everyone for being patient with the Midnight Mayhem Organizing Team this year! As you’ll see throughout this post there are some pretty big changes, one in particular, that we needed to be absolutely sure was going to happen before we could announce anything. So here we go. With Registration just days away, we wanted to make sure that everyone has access to all of the key information about Midnight Mayhem XI before registering as many things are changing.

Drop Forge Proving Grounds


We’re moving! If you’ve not already seen Epsiode 2 of our Midnight Mayhem XI series, we’re changing sites! Welcome to the Drop Forge Proving Grounds. This will be a completely custom space for Midnight Mayhem. The Midnight Mayhem Organizing Team is well underway in transforming this 30+ acre space, in the heart of downtown Louisville, into a purpose built space for testing your cars. So why are we moving?

Proximity to everything

Those that have been to Midnight Mayhem previously know that Nickota Motorsports Park is a great site. The track is perfect for Baja cars. There is, however, one big drawback; its proximity to just about anything. If you forget something and need to run to Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, Autozone, etc., it’s a minimum 30 minute trip each way not including the time you’re in the store(s) getting whatever you need. If you’re not a camper and are staying in a hotel, it’s a 30 minute trip each way. That amount of travel time inside of Midnight Mayhem which, is a day and half of non-stop events is a huge chunk of time to be gone. It’s not only been a headache for you but also for the organizers.

The Drop Forge Proving Grounds is in the middle of Louisville. Hotels, stores, restaurants, you name it, are all within ten minutes or less of the site. This is a huge benefit and was one of the driving factors for making the change.

we needed more space

In case you haven’t noticed, Midnight Mayhem is big. It’s the largest exhibition event for Baja SAE vehicles in the world. Last year, there were over 70 schools in attendance. The paddocks were split for the first time to make room for everyone. Guess what, Midnight Mayhem is still growing. After Midnight Mayhem X was over, our Facilities Coordinator began assessing the possibility of paddocking 100 teams at Nickota. We couldn’t find a place to fit 30 more trailers. Sure, we could have used the parking lot outside of the gates of Nickota but, where do you then put all the cars that have just been moved to make room for the trailers? Paddocking was just one area that space was lacking. Nickota has a lot of land but, as you know, most of it is on the sides of a hill and therefore difficult to use.

The Drop Forge Proving Grounds is smaller than Nickota but, in terms of usable space, it’s larger. We have room for 110 paddock spaces that are larger than the spaces at Nickota. There’s plenty of space for an incredible endurance course, 3 dynamic events, and more, all of which will have incredible spectator visibility.

tailored courses and facilities

This is the part that the Midnight Mayhem Organizing team is looking forward too; having the ability to build completely custom courses designed for Baja SAE vehicles. Perfectly sized jumps, more obstacles, etc. The design judges hear it at every competition, “Tested at Midnight Mayhem.” DFPG allows the organizers to create better courses for your teams to collect even more useful data on your new designs.


Visibility comes in two forms for Midnight Mayhem. Exposure to the community and physical visibility of the events happening at Midnight Mayhem to its spectators. The Drop Forge Proving Grounds greatly enhances both of these things. Being in the middle of the largest city in Kentucky, right next to the University of Louisville campus, we are so excited to be able to better promote Midnight Mayhem to the public in order to show off all of the hard work and dedication each of you have put into developing your cars to compete at Midnight Mayhem and to show the community that engineering can be fun.

DFPG also has incredible opportunities for great spectator viewing areas. The site is bounded by two bridges on the East and South sides making for excellent elevated viewing of the entire Endurance Course. These bridges, in addition to spectator areas throughout the rest of the site provide everyone with an opportunity to see every piece of the Endurance Course. This is an extremely rare feature for a Baja course and we’re excited that DFPG has the means to offer that.

View from South Brook St. bridge of the soon to be Endurance Course.

View from South Brook St. bridge of the soon to be Endurance Course.


baja sae louisville 2020

The rumor was going around at Baja SAE Rochester back in June. We’re confirming it now…

We are hosting Baja SAE Louisville in 2020!

This has been a dream for Midnight Mayhem since its beginning back in 2008. We are so excited to finally have the opportunity to partner with SAE in bringing an official SAE event to Kentucky! If proximity to everything was the number one driver for the change, this was number two. We knew that Nickota was going to be too small and too remote to comfortably host an SAE event out there. Even if Dirty Turtle was added on there were still other challenges that made hosting a competition out there not very feasible.

The Drop Forge Proving Grounds eliminates all of those issues. Yes, we are hosting at the same site as Midnight Mayhem XI. How often do you get an opportunity to see an event site months in advance of competition? Almost never. You don’t want to miss this opportunity and you most definitely don’t want to miss Baja SAE Louisville. It will be the traditional competition that everyone knows from SAE but, it’s going to look a bit different. That’s all we’re going to say for now.


Events at Midnight Mayhem XI

Sundown Showdown | friday, september 20, 2019

The Sundown Showdown is back! Last year’s inaugural event was a hit; the majority of teams registered for Midnight Mayhem X participated on Friday evening. We are going to be doing some Friday night driving once again. We’re not sure what the event is going to look like just yet. The Midnight Mayhem Organizing Team learned a lot last year. What worked well and what didn’t work so well with the Sundown Showdown. The team is currently thinking through solutions to the challenges from last year’s event before announcing the final format.

dynamic events | saturday, september 21, 2019

As is now typical at Midnight Mayhem, Dynamic Events will be hosted during the day at Midnight Mayhem XI. There will be three events this year.

  • Acceleration

  • Maneuverability

  • BajaCross

The organizing team is excited for Dynamic Events this year simply due to the fact that everything about each event is custom. You’re going to see more obstacles on BajaCross, a more SAE event-like maneuverability course, and maybe even a fun twist to Acceleration. The possibilities are almost endless with the new space at DFPG!

endurance event | saturday, september 21, 2019

Midnight Mayhem XI’s feature event is, like always, going to be the night time Endurance Event. Starting at 8:00PM and running for 4 hours, we’re excited to bring to you a brand new course, purpose built for Baja SAE vehicles. What’s the best part about this new course?

No SINGLE FILE sections!


No On Site Camping

Unfortunately, we cannot offer camping on site at the Drop Forge Proving Grounds this year. Being on the University of Louisville’s property it’s just not an option. We are working to partner with a few hotels nearby to offer all teams discounted rates and we will also be providing options for campgrounds near DFPG for those that still wish to camp. While this is a drawback to the new space, we feel that the benefits of this move far outweigh the negatives and it was a sacrifice we had to make. Check back in the “Attend” section of our website for more information coming in the next week or so.


Team Registration

Team registration from Louisville Midnight Mayhem X is going to be very similar to what it has been for the past few years.  On July 29, 2019 at 10:00AM EDT. Your team captain will need to follow the instructions and fill out the form. 

Registration opens July 29, 2019 at 10:00AM EDT

Team Registration Rules:

  • Teams may register a maximum of two (2) cars.

  • The registered cars must have a complete Passed Tech sticker from a Baja SAE event occurring in 2015 - 2019.

  • Registration is on a first come first serve basis. Last year, we filled up in just a few days. We are anticipating it to be faster this year.

  • All cars must have a MyLaps Transponder (same as used at Baja SAE events). Rental transponders will be available at Midnight Mayhem.

Team Management Portal (NEW)

In an effort to streamline and simplify our registration processes and help with eliminating confusion during Midnight Mayhem, we have created a new Team Management Portal. This new tool has a few primary functions.

Team Registration

No more Google Form! The portal has some features that makes it smarter than a Google Form could ever be.

real-time car number tracking

Since we allow cars from multiple years to compete, overlapping car numbers always happens. While we try to notify everyone ahead of time so that changes can be made before arriving on site, inevitably, we miss someone. This creates headaches on your end as you’re now scrambling to make new numbers and it also creates headaches on the organizer’s end as well. This new system eliminates those issues. As you register your cars, the system will immediately notify you if a number is taken. You will then, have to enter a new number before registration is complete. Numbers are reserved on a first come first serve basis so, if you don’t want to change your numbers, register early!

links to competitor passes and waivers

This new system talks to our Ticketing and Waiver tools. So what does this mean for you?

  1. Your team MUST BE REGISTERED before you can purchase Competitor Passes.

  2. Your team members will be linked to your team’s registration

  3. Your Captain will be able to track and manage your team to ensure that everyone’s documentation is in order ahead of arriving at Midnight Mayhem.

Team Management

Team Captain’s will have access to a Team Management page. This page will do a few things. From this page your Captain will be able to:

  1. See which Cars are registered for Midnight Mayhem and their Car Numbers.

  2. View a list of all Competitors (Team Members) who have purchased Competitor Passes.

  3. View the Liability Waiver status (signed/unsigned) for each Team Member.

Team Member Registration

Opens August 12, 2019 at 10:00AM EDT

It's no secret that a huge bottleneck at Midnight Mayhem has always been the check-in process when everyone arrives on site.  Please realize, that we have to ensure that everyone has filled out and signed all of the important documentation that makes them eligible to race and while we've tried to speed up that process with electronic solutions, getting through 1000 of you still takes a long time!  This year we are aiming to fix that.  We are implementing new processes that further streamline our check-in procedures.

Smart Wristbands 2.0

We are once again utilizing our Smart Wristband system. Those of you that were at Midnight Mayhem X will probably remember that there were some growing pains with the brand new system. We listened to your feedback and have made several improvements that will correct the issues that we had last year (the Team Management Portal is a part of that). Functionally, they will perform the same tasks as last year; storing unique information about each competitor on the band and controlling access to driving events to only those who have attended the driver’s meetings.

Competitor Passes ($40)

ALL students participating in Louisville Midnight Mayhem XI (driving, working on a car, or actively supporting a team's effort to compete) are required to purchase a COMPETITOR PASS and sign a LIABILITY WAIVER.

A COMPETITOR PASS grants you the following: 

  • Unique Smart Wristband that is required for access to specific areas and events including ALL driving activities. 

  • Full weekend access to the Louisville Midnight Mayhem Drop Forge Proving Grounds 

    • 12:00PM EDT September 20, 2019 through 12:00PM EDT September 22, 2019 

  • Access to all spectator areas and paddocks 

  • Driving privileges for all events (upon completion of Driver Training & Safety Course on site) 

  • Working privileges in the paddocks (with proper PPE equipped) 

  • FREE Louisville Midnight Mayhem XI T-shirt (size guaranteed if pass is purchased on or before September 1, 2019) 


Future Updates

Please note that we are still in the planning stages for Midnight Mayhem XI.  All of the information above is our plan and will be happening.  There are some minor details that we are still working out that we will communicate through our website, social media, and emails to our registered teams.