Motorsports in India has been gaining more and more significance for the past few years. Keeping in tune with this, there is a form of endurance racing called Baja SAE that has gained a lot of popularity amongst students in India. Baja SAE is an intercollegiate competition run by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Teams of engineering students design vehicles with common engine specifications. The goal in Baja SAE racing is to design, build and race off-road vehicles that can withstand harsh conditions in off-road racing.
The 8th edition of the Baja SAEINDIA 2015 was held between 19th & 24th February, 2015. A total of 74 teams had competed in the endurance round. The event took place at the NATRIP facility at Pithampur, near Indore. About 323 teams had registered in the 8th year of BAJA SAEINDIA series, out of which 122 teams had qualified for the finale. However, only 74 teams could make it to the Endurance round. This year saw 8000 students from different parts of the country working towards the 2015 theme Beyond Boundaries.
The event started with basic Static Evaluation round which comprised of Design Evaluation, Cost Evaluation and Marketing Presentation. In the final round, the teams showcased their prototype of a rugged single seat, off-road recreational four-wheel vehicle and were evaluated on various parameters, including engineering design, cost and technology innovation. The objective of the competition was to simulate real world engineering design projects and their related challenges. Each teams goal was to create a safe, easily transported, easily maintained and fun to drive prototype without any direct involvement from professional fabricators. However, the teams were free to design their own transmissions with the only restriction being the speed limit to 60kmph. The Dynamic Evaluation Round tested the vehicles for acceleration, speed, hill climb and manoeuvrability and the Durability Evaluation Round saw the vehicles undergo endurance tests. The Endurance Event assessed each vehicles ability to operate continuously and at a speed over rough terrain containing obstacles in any weather conditions.
The tracks was a 4.6 kms long one , including inclines, slush and bumps, which tested the vehicles for climbing ability, maneuverability, suspension and traction. The biggest challenge for participants was to complete the race. The event sponsorship, led by Mahindra, saw other sponsors such as Volvo, Polaris, John Deere, Altair, Chevrolet, ARAI, Bharat Petroleum, Cummins and Wurth, among others. Dignitaries, such as Dr. Pawan Goenka, Executive Director & President, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and Chairman BAJA SAEINDIA Steering Comittee, Chief guest Mr. Anthony Je DeSa, IAS Chief Secretary Government of MP, Mr. Kamal Bali, MD Volvo India, Mr Girish Markale, Co-convener BAJA SAEINDIA, Dr. Aravind Bharadwaj, President, SAEINDIA were present.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Pawan Goenka, Executive Director, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said, Its heartening to see thousands of students coming together once again to celebrate the spirit of BAJA. Increase in participation from colleges and BAJA SAEINDIAs growth since inception indicates its growing popularity and national significance. This forum gives young engineering talent an opportunity to showcase their skills, innovate and acquire a real life experience posed with challenges which is critical to their success in the long term. Mahindra & Mahindra is delighted to be associated with BAJA SAEINDIA 2015 as the title sponsor and with BAJA, we are taking forward the philosophy of Mahindra Rise to the next level.
Dr. Aravind Bharadwaj, President, SAEINDIA said, "Creation of industry ready skilled engineers is a prerequisite to achieve the targets that have been set forth in the Automotive Mission Plan 2016 for India. BAJA is one such initiative from SAEINDIA that provides an opportunity for students to get hands on learning experience in vehicle design. The rapid increase in the number of teams from SAEINDIA clubs in colleges across the country and the unparalleled enthusiasm of everyone involved with this event is clear evidence that BAJA SAEINDIA is making progress in the right direction"
Source : MotorOctane