The memories of the first Baja SAE India race (pronounced as Ba-ha) were refreshed when Mahindra invited me to cover the event. Those were the engineering days, and ours was the first batch to participate in the maiden year of the competition. All the members of the team were on cloud 9; ready to face the real world engineering challenges. Happy endings are in movies only and our team’s result is worth mentioning, despite all the efforts. But the level of excitement was definitely at its peak.
A similar wave of excitement ran through me, when I the invitation popped in my email box. This time around, it was the sixth edition of the Baja SAE event and the number of teams had jumped from 27 – which were in the first year in 2007— to 100 teams this year. Out of the 100 teams, 82 cars made the cut to participate in the race and the others failed to make the cut.
The venue for the event was the same – Pithampur, which is about 40km away from the Indore city. The Baja SAE is the platform for undergraduate engineering students who build buggies from scratch, which have to withstand various other tests. The biggest challenge that the teams encounter is the endurance test, which is a 4-hour race across the challenging track developed with various obstacles helping the judges to determine the most reliable, and ofcourse the quickest. This is a dirt track, which has various obstacles like water pool, hairpin bends and inclines and declines.
The SRM University from Chennai nailed it, as the team’s buggy won the Baja SAE India 2012 title captivating Rs 3lakh, with PES Modern College of Engineering, Pune as the first runner-up and Basaveshwar Engineering College, Bagalkot as the second runner-up.