Baja Sae concludes on a new high

Baja Sae concludes on a new high

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) or a buggy, if you would like to call them that, have been known for their extreme off-roading capabilities taking on...

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) or a buggy, if you would like to call them that, have been known for their extreme off-roading capabilities taking on mud-slinging, water wading, off-road tracks that a conventional vehicle would otherwise only dream to conquer. The premise to test the capabilities of a vehicle on this track leaves little room for error and a whole lot of scope for improvement.

It even gets interesting when you are asked to build your own ATV and then compete on a national level against like-minded opponents on one of the most gruelling tracks developed by some of the best minds in the business. That folks is the 2015 Baja Sae India for you, in a nutshell. The 8th edition of Baja Sae India saw Team Nemesis of College of Engineering, Pune emerge as winners, followed by DY Patil College of Engineering, Pune as 1st runner-up and Vellore Institute of Technology, Tamil Nadu as second runner-up.

The three-day event saw participants go through the basic Static Evaluation round that compromised of design evaluation, cost evaluation and marketing presentation. The Dynamic Evaluation round on the other hand saw the vehicles being tested for acceleration, speed, hill climb, manoeuvrability; whereas the Durability Evaluation round saw the vehicles undergo endurance tests.

Held on the last day, the Endurance Event saw only 74 teams make it to the event with each vehicle scrutinised on the ability to sustain in the demanding terrain coupled with challenging obstacles over the four hour run in the scorching heat. A true test of endurance not only for the vehicles, but the drivers as well.

The newly 4.5 km long track based on international standards for the Endurance run saw participants engage through a series of hairpin bends, dirt and gravel straights, gradients as well as wade through mud and deep slush along the way. The well placed obstacles throughout the track started with what was called the ‘Booby Trap’ (I’m not making this up) and saw the self-developed ATVs travel through rows of high bumps and drops only to have their suspensions extricated if not put to rest completely.

In addition to the petrol-powered Baja, the organisers also came up with the first addition of the e-Baja ATV that saw electrically powered ATVs compete in the event. Being the first year, e-Baja saw 11 teams participate in the competition out of which only 8 made it to the finals. In essence, the Baja Sae India gives a glimpse of some of the sharp minds that will make their way soon into the automotive world. With the bar raised significantly for this year, we can’t wait to see what Mahindra and the Sae India team has planned for the 2016 Baja that is promised to be more ambitious than ever.

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