The legacy we have left behind
- Prithvi 2.0 wins Raftar Award of 1 Lakhs INR for being the Lightest and the Fastest Vehicle in the competition
Competition Experience: BAJA ’09
Our first year at the Baja India competition at Pithampur was an extremely memorable experience for the entire team. The car had been sent ahead 1 week before the start of the competition. 5 team members left 2 days before the competition to receive the car from the transporters and arrange its transport to the competition site. The rest of the team finally reached there on the evening of Day 0 of the 5 day competition and spent the day unpacking the car, sub-assemblies, tool boxes etc. and assembling the car.
Day 1 saw the beginning of the Technical Inspection. There were 2 minor rule infractions, which were corrected by the afternoon. (Spill tank for fuel tank and +ve steering locks). Comparatively, we were among the best prepared teams, being the 2nd team to receive the ‘Cleared Tech. Inspection’ sticker. On the morning of Day 2 we became the 1st team to clear Brake Test, albeit with a few hiccups. The first 2 runs saw only 3 wheels locking. Finally in the 3rd run all four wheels locked to the referees’ satisfaction. The rest of the afternoon was spent talking to other teams and checking out their vehicles. Some meritorious points about the other cars were:
Using rigid connecting rods to connect the shifter with the transmission to avoid the tensioning problems associated with cable actuation. Using 2 CV joints in the final drive to increase allowable shaft angle. Ergonomic appeal of a finished market-ready product. Innovative designs like Side-Engine design, Front Trailing Arm suspension design etc.
Day 3 was for Static Events. Our car weighed in at 267 kgs (2nd lightest car at the competition) and we hit the design target spot on with a perfect 60:40 weight distribution. The business case presentation was also a huge success. At the dreaded Design Evaluation Event, we faced a lot of criticism for the shabby finishing and lack of ergonomics and driver comfort, but at the same time were commended for the electronic gear shifting, Data Acquisition System and the suspension design and performance. We walked out apprehensive about our overall performance, fearing an average score. Having cleared all the Static Events early, we decided to attempt the Hill Climb Event that day itself. Tarun Mathur (a.k.a. Tweety) took both the runs brilliantly, recording the best time of Day 3. (Eventually we were placed 2nd in Hill Climb)
Day 4 saw impressive performances in the remaining Dynamic Events. With Abhay Gupta (a.k.a. Lord)in the driver’s seat, the car was visibly the quickest in the Acceleration Event (which was confirmed by the night; we were given Pole Position in the Endurance Race starting grid on account of having the fastest Acceleration Run timings!). The Manoeuvrability Event could have gone slightly better, with the car making a few unnecessary skids which pulled the timings up a second or two. The day looked to end on a jubilant note after learning of the Pole position. By now we were the popular favourites for winning the competition.
But, just before packing up, we discovered an alarming leak at the engine transmission coupling (which had been a recurring problem). Fixing the leak would involve a tedious disassembly of the drivetrain components, requiring at least 6 hrs. of work. Instead of opting for a temporary solution, it was decided to fix the leak thoroughly. The Engine team and team leaders stayed back and worked throughout the night at the competition site to get the car fixed and ready for the next day’s big race. This was a memorable night for the 4 of us who had stayed back, working through the freezing night, along with a few other teams in a similar predicament. It was the thick and woolly team sweatshirts, that had been so thoroughly ridiculed before, that got us through this night!
Day 5 dawned on ‘Prithvi’ leading the starting phalanx of the Endurance Race, carrying an enormous amount of expectations. All the dreams crashed with our car in the 2nd lap of the race, once again let down by a freakish failure in the transmission. Once we ascertained that there was no way to fix it before the end of the Endurance Race, it looked like a very depressing end to an otherwise successful run. But things perked up at the presentation ceremony in the afternoon, where we found to our surprise we had won a few more awards than expected. The 1st place in Acceleration was expected but 1st in Top Speed and 2nd in Hill Climb and Cost Report came as a pleasant surprise. The icing on the cake was winning the Best Engineering Design award! Though not exactly overjoyed, we came back with our pride intact and a quite resolve to win every single event the next year.
Faculty advisors - Prof. Ramesh Singh
Team Captain - Ashish Vora
Chassis - Ashwin Carvalho, Aniket Modi
Suspension and Wheel Assemblies - Ashwin Krishnan, Manas Karandikar, Sameep Sanjeeva, Urmil Shah
Brakes - Mayur Srinivasan, Mahesh Tikone
Steering - Sangram Patil, Apoorva Yadav
Drive train - Ashwin Raghavan, Harshad Kunte, Prateek Sharma, Nishant Narechania
Onboard Electronics - Makarand Dive, Saurav Talukdar
Marketing and Operations - Shashank Pachore, Aayush Baheti
Website - Nikhil Tiwale
|Wheels||ATV mud tires with bear claw threads|
|Weight without driver||290kg|
|Weight distribution||63:37 Rearward bias|
|Engine||Lombardini LG 340Gasoline Engine|
|Construction||Tubular space frame|
|Frame weight with brackets||40kg|
|Suspension configuration||4-Wheel Independent|
Non parallel A-arms
|Centre of gravity design||Height 500mm|
|Static ackerman||80% Ackerman|
|Static roll center position||50mm Above the Ground (Front and Rear)|
|Tranmission||V Belt continuously variable transmission from CVTech(Canada)|
Custom Designed (FNR gearbox)
Solid Spool output shaft