Mahindra SAEINDIA Baja 2013 fetches great results
105 open wheeled cars, over 2500 petrol-headed engineering students and enough adrenalin to jump from the moon, that pretty much gave an idea about the atmosphere in Indore during the 2013 iteration of the BAJA SAE India. Pithampur, a small town on the outskirts of Indore, MP was ready for one of the grandest stage to showcase their creations. A yearlong effort into designing, analysing, fabricating, testing and in case something goes wrong, a bit of jugaad too; all of which culminated into a 4-day long competition to determine the numero uno engineering college of India.
Since its inception in 2007, this event has grown from a mere 27 team event to a whopping 262 team mega-event. The entire process starts in the month of March where the colleges start forming a team of a maximum of 25 members dedicated to do just one thing, design and engineer a single seat ATV which will simply knock the heels off the competition. The 250+ teams are allowed to showcase their designs and give enough data along with it to validate its safety and performance at the Virtual BAJA event. Here the shortlisting begins and this year the number of teams was upped to 120 who were given the approval to build their vehicles. The maximum teams this year came from Pune. The motoring capital of India spawned as many as 16 teams. September to January, i.e. a period of 5 months is allotted for the completion of the vehicle shortlisted for college level scrutiny in order to check whether the vehicle is safe and meets all the regulations specified while the D-days rather the four day mega-event is planned during the second weekend of February.
The first day starts with an even detailed safety check in order to proceed any further. Engine settings, vehicle dimensions, fluid leakages check, safety gear, weight, steering abilities and finally the most important brake test are carried out. In fact the tests are so stringent that the first day saw only 6 teams clearing all the mentioned tests. The second day began with the remaining teams clearing the inspection and once done they move on to static events where vehicle designs, costings and marketability are evaluated.
The teams which get their static events clear with time to spare in the day move onto the dynamic events which saw just a handful of 10 teams attempting the acceleration patch where the quickest car in a dirt strip of 150 feet is declared the winner and only 3 teams which were all Pune, took on the hill climb event where the vehicles had to climb up another 150 feet with a gradient of 25 degrees. The next day commences with all the technically cleared teams expected to clear their static as well as the dynamic events including an additional one which is the most difficult of them all – the manoeuvrability test. Here the vehicles are made to take on obstacles like opposite banking turns, ditches, sand pits, dirt mounds, slush and finally logs of wood. The ones who are through with all these events are then allowed to get a feel of what they would be experiencing to the next day – the endurance track.