The victory lap

Sep 25 2012, 06:19 IST
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SummaryMembers of Team Vamos Autocross on their win and the experience of racing at the Buddh International Circuit.

Members of Team Vamos Autocross on their win and the experience of racing at the Buddh International Circuit

Having hosted automotive events around the year along with the Indian Grand Prix, the Buddh International Circuit in Delhi recently played host to the second edition of the SUPRA SAEINDIA 2012. The event has students design, model and fabricate a formula type racing car with the aim of introducing them to the entire process from design and engineering to production, marketing and endurance. Team Vamos Autocross of the Sinhagad Academy of Engineering, Kondhwa, was one of the 65 teams to participate in the event and won the third place overall as well as third place in both the endurance test and acceleration test, making them the only college in Maharashtra to have a podium finish.

“Our core team was the same as the one at our last SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) event, the Baja SAEINDIA 2012, where we placed in the top five out of 100 teams without winning a trophy. Post the event, we were penalised because the judges alleged that our vehicle was too good to have been made by us. This was the highest honour we could have received,” says Yusuf Hakim, Captain of Team Vamos Autocross. All cars were provided a Maruti 800 engine, with a common restricted RPM, but the design and fabrication was only guide-lined. “We applied air shock absorbers and a polypropylene paneling, making the vehicle lighter than our rivals', who used fiber. We were the only team to clear the brake test on the first attempt,” informs Hakim.

“The vehicle was scrutinised technically, and we cleared every inspection test. After a point, the car was perfect, and the onus of winning the race fell squarely upon the driver,” says Surendra Patil, one of the two drivers of Team Vamos Autocross. The car clocked in at speeds over 100 kmph and completed 4 laps of the circuit, roughly 22 kilometres, in a little under 20 minutes.

“We received one day of driver training from SUPRA, mostly to ensure we don't damage the track. It was an indescribable rush, an adrenaline overdose,” declares Patil. He was up against drivers with international experience, some of whom had raced in Germany and France. “

The team comprised of 25 members, which included their professors, all of whom went to Delhi and received a trophy and a cash prize of

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