A Race for the Eminence: FORMULA BHARAT 2017
Feb 13, 2017 | Gyan Prakash Sahoo
Innovation can only occur when you breathe free – Joe Biden
Innovation and implementation are two main mantras in the tech-savvy world, in order to create something exceptional and out-of-the-box. This is what the organizers of Formula Bharat (FB) believe in. FB is an engineering design competition in which students from colleges and universities all over the country compete with a life-size Formula-style vehicle in areas of design, marketability, cost and dynamic performance. It replicates the global student Formula series hosted in 11 countries per year. The main objective of this competition is to encourage students to gain hands-on practical experience, learn the art of teamwork and management, and present something innovative even out of the scrap.
FB 2017 was organized during 25th to 29th January at Kari Motor Speedways, Coimbatore. It was hosted and managed by Mobility Engineering Consortium Pvt. Ltd. It saw a footfall of 60 odd teams including Team Roadrunner representing NIT Rourkela.
The teams were divided into 3 categories, named A, B and C, based on the deadlines met by them. For the teams in category C, they had to undergo a pre-registration and pre-Technical Inspection (Pre-TI) on 25th before participating in further rounds from 26th. Team Roadrunner, being in Category C had to be a part of this scrutiny test.
The next 4 days were the main days of the event, with the final day reserved for only Endurance running. Apart from Technical Inspection (TI), where the vehicle was scrutinized to check if it complied with all rules and was fit to go in further rounds, it had two main rounds, statics and dynamics. Statics round consisted of:-
- Business presentation, where the teams represented fictional companies and their goal was to convince the judges into how exemplary their vehicle was and why they should invest in their product
- Cost report presentation, where the cost of each and every major and minute component was scrutinized
- Design report presentation, where the teams were questioned based on the designs implemented by them in the various subsystems of their vehicles.
Clearing the statics round and TI, the eligible teams were given dynamics pass and were allowed to compete in Dynamics round. It consisted of skid pad, acceleration, autocross and fuel efficiency tests. Prior to these tests, tilt test, noise test and brake test were also conducted. Only 6 teams could clear the round and were allowed to run their vehicles on the track in the Endurance running. Unfortunately, Team Roadrunner, due to some final moment technical issues, could not clear the TI and based on the performance in other statics rounds was ranked 34. Team Pravega Racing of VIT University Vellore was declared the winner.
The event not only witnessed various teams, but also some renowned international judges like Pat Clarke and Claude Rouelle, who also gave presentations on their areas of expertise. On asking the team about its experience, it replied that although it could not win, but it learned a lot from the competition and got feedbacks from international judges which could help it in improvising on its future designs. It further replied that it would keep participating in such events.