BAJA SAE INDIA with its inception in 2007, has come up a long way to become INDIA’s biggest Off-road Motorsports Competition for Engineering Students. With support from major players in the automotive industry like Mahindra & Mahindra, Chevrolet, Volvo etc. this event has definitely made a mark in the lives of thousands of Engineering Students across the country.
It is all about designing and fabricating a single seater ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) which can negotiate various off-road conditions like hills, wooden logs obstacles, bumps, pits and various other tough conditions. With its growth across the years, the difficulties of qualifying for the event have also increased.
The event is divided into two phases. Phase 1 includes the team registrations from Engineering Colleges and a qualifying round commonly known as “VIRTUAL BAJA SAE INDIA”. Phase 2 involves the main event “BAJA SAE INDIA” held at NATRAX test tracks near Pithampur, Indore. Now, we will have a look about recently completed VIRTUAL BAJA SAE INDIA 2015 event and also an interactive session we had with students from TEAM KSHATRIYA representing VIT, Vellore.
VIRTUAL BAJA SAE INDIA 2015 was organised from 10th July – 11th July, 2015 at Chitkara University, Chandigarh which is located on Chandigarh-Patiala Highway. The event was greeted with a huge response from the Engineering Students and around 395 teams from various Engineering Colleges of the country participated in this mega event. This event acted as qualifier to BAJA SAE INDIA 2016 main event. The major objective of this event was to judge the designs and feasibility of ATV’s being proposed by various participating teams. A test for automotive general knowledge and BAJA SAE INDIA 2016 rule book guidelines was also included for the first time.
All the teams were required to present the designs of their ATV’s to the experts from the automotive industry. An interactive presentation majorly includes basic dimensional lay out of the vehicle, roll cage design, virtual simulations using CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) software to test the vehicle at design stage itself, suspension and steering design, power-train system, brakes systems , driver ergonomics, electrical wiring and safety aspects and innovations being proposed in the vehicle.
Considering the tough conditions for the vehicle to comply with in the main event, the students needs to put a lot of effort in making successful designs and which eventually plays very important role in qualifying for the main event. At the end of the day, 179 teams were only selected for the main event and only these teams would be allowed to go for fabricating their off-road buggy and race it for the main event.
We had an interaction with students of TEAM KSHATRIYA from VIT, Vellore who were positioned 2nd in the VIRTUAL BAJA SAE INDIA 2015 and also secured overall 3rd position at BAJA SAE INDIA 2015.
Q.1. Hello, Team Kshatriya! Can you brief us about the history of TEAM KSHATRIYA?
Team Kshatriya was founded in the year 2006, by a group of dedicated Mechanical Engineering students of VIT, Vellore. We are an off-road racing team fueled by passion and driven by desire that has grown in strength ever since its inception. What defines us is our nine long years of experience in BAJA Racing. 9 years, 8 cars, 13 trophies and 2 podium finishes are what have been achieved till date.
Q.2 How do you feel about winning the 3rd position in BAJA SAE INDIA 2015 and now the 2nd position in Virtual BAJA SAE India 2015?
To most of them, it would be a moment to take pride in, and so is for us. The hard work and sleepless nights did pay off eventually. Not to mention, we are not yet stopping. It’s only a milestone crossed with many more to come.
Q.3 What is the driving force that imparts this consistency in an event such rigorous?
We believe that winning isn’t getting ahead of others; it’s getting ahead of yourself. Learning from previous mistakes and incrementing our efforts every year adjunct with hard work in the right way is the key to success.
Q.4 What are the difficulties that you are facing?
A large number of innovations require even a larger funding, and that is where we are lacking for now. We have taken considerable initiatives in publicizing our works. We need people to know who we are and what we do.
Q.5 What are your upcoming plans?
A lot of innovations have been designed and are to be incorporated within the vehicle. Now, when it comes to BAJA, it is all about the endurance and sustainability in tough terrains hence the innovations are to be tested for the same. That is what we are up to for now.
So, here was TEAM KSHATRIYA moving ahead for the main event with lots of experience in their baggage. We wish them good luck for BAJA SAE INDIA 2016.
Finally, I would like to say that this event is definitely taking right shape by converting students into Automotive Engineers and Managers by making them learn things in a practical manner and also improving academia – industry relationships.
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