The 9th edition of the Mahindra organised Baja SAE India took place on Feb 20 and 21 at the National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRiP) facility in Pithampur, near Indore.
Students from 379 colleges across the country took part in the virtual Baja out of which 179 teams were chosen to take part in the finals. Out of these 179 teams only 144 made it to Indore where another 18 were disqualified leaving the final grid with just 126 participants.
The contestants were scored based on various criteria including static (design, cost, computer aided engineering, build quality, etc), technology and dynamic (acceleration, suspension setup and hill climbing ability) as well as the endurance race.
The four hour endurance race for this year's Baja was over a stretch of treacherous track 5.2 kilometers long and filled with all the off road madness around including water traps, mud, hill climbs rocks and all. Despite the lap length being 400 meters longer, average lap times were down by around four to five minutes.
Also present among the internal combustion madness(mBaja) were 9 teams participating in the eBaja, the fully electric version of the Baja out of which 6 made it to the finish line.
Team Nemesis Racing from the College of Engineering, Pune beat the rest of the pack to win the mBaja event while the eBaja was won by another Pune based team — Stallion from Smt. Kashibai Navale College Of Engineering.
The teams will now start getting ready for the 2017 Baja SAE India, with the organizers confirming the entry of international teams from next year.