IIT Kanpur’s SAE Team Revs It Up at BAJA 2015

A year ago, a passionate team of freshmen and sophomores began the journey to build the first off-road racing vehicle made in IIT Kanpur. Along the way, their dedication and enthusiasm continuously increased, their knowledge and  skills steadily expanded. This venture of SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) IIT Kanpur, the college’s automobile hub, into BAJA racing has added another laurel to IITK’s Motorsports fraternity. They participated in BAJA Student India 2015 organized by Delta Inc. from January 5th to 11th, and competing against 44 other teams on a national level performed remarkably:

1st Position: Best Incoming Team Winner trophy

4th Position: Design

4th Position: Acceleration

5th Position: Overall in Static Events (Design Event, Cost Event, Sales, Presentation)

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SAE Team with Best Incoming Team Trophy

An eye-catcher at the event, the vehicle received critical appreciation in design, clean packaging and low weight. The judges from the US were stunned to see the amount of brilliance reflected in the vehicle, and remarked that it had the potential to be a good competitor in international events. Further, the SAE team was informally invited by the judges to participate in a similar event held in Auburn, USA.

The car is powered by a Briggs and Stratton 305cc engine coupled with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and a FNR gearbox. This setup gives a peak Torque of 560 N-m after final reduction, making the car capable of climbing an inclination of 41 degrees from a dead stop. There is a customized manual gear-shifter for easy and responsive gear shifting. Maximum tested speed of the vehicle so far is 55 kmph, which will increase with further testing and tuning. The vehicle has an adjustable double wishbone suspension at the front and a 3-link trailing arm suspension at the rear. It has 4-wheel hydraulic disc brakes with custom designed rotors, which are capable of producing a deceleration of 0.9g. An ergonomically designed pedal assembly facilitates driver comfort, and has large traction forces for a safe ride in off-road conditions.

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Off-Road Racer by the SAE team

The project to build this off-road automobile began in December 2013 under the mentorship of Dr. Avinash Kumar Agrawal. Having formerly concentrated on building a formula racing, this was undertaken as the next big venture by SAE.

Extensive use of the manufacturing facilities of Tinkering Lab and the Central Workshop was made by the SAE team. Some parts of the car were manufactured in the 4i Lab and a few components including the engine, gearbox, wheels, and tyres were either outsourced or procured from abroad at discounted rates. The team was sponsored by IIT Kanpur, Engine Research Lab IIT Kanpur, Crystal Metals, Magod Laser, Dassault Systems, Wilwood, Fox and JP Enterprises.

After working hard for a year, the project attained completion. On 26th December 2014, Director Indranil Manna flagged off the car at 12:00 PM in the faculty building parking lot.

The achievements of the BAJA team have boosted the spirit of the club. The FSAE (Formula SAE) Team is working very hard to prove their mettle in the FSAE Event later this year with the car currently in manufacturing phase.

Written by Shashwat Trivedi, the Student Chairperson of SAE IIT Kanpur. The article has been edited by Vox Populi.