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     PEC wins 2nd prize at Mini Baja Challenge

Chandigarh, February 7th 2009

A team consisting of students of Punjab Engineering College have bagged 2nd prize in the Mini Baja SAE India Challenge winning a collective prize money of Rs.3,50,000 bringing laurels to the institute.

The Mini Baja SAE India Challenge is an event that is hosted annually by the Society of Automative Engineers at NATRIP (National Autmobile Testing and Research & Development Infrastructure Project) facility Pithampur, Indore. Teams of engineering students from tertiary institutions across India have to design and build a prototype four-wheeled, single-seater, off-road recreational vehicle powered by a 7 .5kW Briggs and Stratton engine as per the design specifications. They also have to raise the necessary sponsorship and manage the project over nine months. Then they compete in a two-day test that includes static adjudication and performance testing on the first day and a four-hour endurance race on the second day.
Every year, this event witnesses more than 50 engineering colleges all over India participating since it began in 2007. This year, 58 colleges came to Pithampur to prove their mettle by constructing an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) from scratch in their respective colleges and bringing to it to this event to compete in various tests. Judged by the industrial experts from companies like Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti, ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India), Bosch, NATRIP, ICAT, etc. the various college teams were judged on the performance of their cars as they underwent 2 sets of tests one being Dynamic which included the Brake test, Acceleration test, Hill Climb, Maneuverability and the most grueling one being the Endurance test where the car has to run for 2 hours. Under the Static category, came tests such as Technical Inspection, Design evaluation, Presentation, Cost Evaluation.

Getting themselves to this platform was no easy task for this team of 21 along with their faculty advisor Prof. A.K. Lall, who called themselves ‘Team RPM’ all students of Mechanical, Production and Aeronautical Engineering Department at PEC. Their journey to Pithampur that started 6 months back consisted of many nail biting hurdles that had to be overcome one after the other through sheer hard work, perseverance and wit of the human mind. It started from getting a main sponsor for their car, which had involved in dealing with major industries which would be ready to sponsor their team to build a car and compete it at the Mini Baja 2009. Once that was dealt with as they roped in the major automobile manufacturer, SWARAJ ENTERPRISES, the team was all set to break that sweat and get to work on their car. In the previous year, another team from PEC had also built their own car and participated in the Mini Baja 2007, where they had achieved 1st position in acceleration and 4th overall. Gaining inspiration and experience from this event, students started work on their ATV by keeping their major focus on performance by reducing the weight of the vehicle and minimizing the power losses. As they toiled hard in the workshops of the college and industrial areas to build up their vehicle from step to step, they were able to meet their deadlines well beforehand and be ready with their ATV on the desired day. The final decision for them was to name their car and so they called it, ‘BV-340’.

So, as they disembarked themselves and their vehicle at Pithampur, it was then that their various series of tasks began that they faced with vigor and bravado. The track situated there was a tough and muddy one that had its fare share of twists and turns which saw vehicles of many teams failing to fulfill their tasks. But the team from PEC was prepared in all forms as they were able to gain laurels in the various events. In the Maneuverability test they claimed 2nd place, 5th place in acceleration, 5th place in endurance and 2nd place overall that saw them winning a collective prize money of Rs.3,50,000.

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