Report on JK Tyre Baja SAEINDIA 2011 by Ravi Senji

The 4th annual JK Tyre Baja SAEINDIA competition just concluded in Indore last week - with their off-road buggies built by budding automotive engineers from colleges across the country vying for the top spot 

This event, with logistic& other assistance from of NATRIP, is being promoted by JK Tyre, and co-sponsored by Mahindra & Mahindra, Cummins India, BPCL, ITW Chemin, Kohler-Lombardini and many others.

79 fully functional off-road buggies built by engineering students was quite an overwhelming feeling for most of us who had come to attend the JK Tyre Baja SAEINDIA 2011 at NATRAX the NARTIP facility at Pithampur, near the outskirts of Indore.

The event was inaugurated by India’s youngest Formula 1 driver and JK Tyre Brand Ambassador Karun Chandhok This is the 4th event in the series, started  in 2007.The first event of JK Tyre BAJA SAE India had started with the participation of 27  teams which later  slowly increased to 56.This year’s competition has seen participation of almost 79 teams, 1700 students across India, which is incredible in itself.

In an effort to promote the cause of greener technologies, this year’s theme for the competition is ‘Go Green.’

Speaking at the inauguration, . A S Mehta, Marketing Director, JK Tyre & Industries Ltdsaid, “We at JK Tyre are very delighted and privileged to be associated with this grand event. This event provides the best platform to engineering students across India to shape up their talent, polish their leadership skills, work as a team and grind their engineering and designing skills, which will thus give them a fair idea of learning the nuances of the corporate world.”

Jugal K Mittal,Convenor JK Tyre BAJA SAE India said, “ JK Tyre BAJA SAE India 2011 is evolving every year and this competition will indeed give India its future automotive engineers. The sponsorship for this competition has increased from 15 to 30.

Manufacturing companies have also shown keen interest in Baja events and the highlight of this completion is the HR meet, where the manufacturers get the opportunity to recruit the best talent from across the country and the future automotive designers.”

 Karun Chandhok, India’s youngest Formula 1 driver and JK Tyre Brand Ambassador lauded the student turnout for this year’s Baja SAE India 2011 competition. He said “It’s overwhelming to see colleges from different pockets of our country, showing some much interest to participate in this unique and interesting competition.”

JK Tyre had organized a rock concert for the participants in the evening. Rock band Bandish performed live in front of over 700 students who grooved to their beats and cheered for the performers.

This year the organizers had made the competition more grueling with tests which included maneuverability which included sand, gravel & logs as well, straight line dynamics, performance, braking prowess, hill climbing which was close to 45 degrees and even a demanding two-and-a-half hour endurance race on the last day. With a total of 1000 points spread across all of the events, who would emerge the overall winner was anybody’s guess.

Dr Pawan Goenka who takes great pride in joining this annual event during the final day ,this year also joined the dignitaries which included Mr Ambuj Sharma, Mr R.Dayal President SAEINDIA & Mr.Craig Barnes CEO Cummins India, They first released the customary balloons representing our tricolor and later jointly flagged the endurance race on.

G.H. Raisoni College of Engineering, Pune managed to win the gnarly endurance race and also score the top points in the acceleration challenge, they were piped for the top honours by Sant Longewal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Punjab who showed consistent performance throughout and scored a total of 801 out of 1000 points as opposed to the Pune-based teams 768.

Close on Raisoni’s heels was another team from Pune – SNK College of Engineering, which managed to score 751 points and finish third in the overall points tally. But there were other awards to be won as well.

The Chief Guests to the event, Shri Ambuj Sharma, Joint Secretary, Govt. of India, Ministry of Heavy Industries and  young racing sensation Armaan Ebrahim also presented awards for other achievements by the college students.

The Technology Innovation award was presented to DY Patil Engineering, Pune, whereas SRM University, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu bagged the Go Green Award. The Hall of Fame for Excellence Award was also won by G. H. Raisoni College of Engineering & Management, Pune.

The other category award like the Raftaar award was won by IIT Mumbai and Maximum Acceleration Award by G. H. Raisoni College of Engineering & Management, Pune respectively. Green Vehicle Award went to NIIT, Jamshedpur.

 The students walked away not just with the excitement and a sense of accomplishment for having competed in such a testing event, but also a fair amount of prize money as well.

The overall winners, Sant Longewal Institute of Engineering and Technology received Rs. 5 lakh (sponsored by ITW Chemin, Hyderabad) for taking the top honours and also an ATV from Powersports. Prize money for the technical challenges varied from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 2-lakh with the total winnings amounting up to a heady Rs. 40.5-lakh!

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