Baja SAE is an intercollegiate engineering design competition for undergraduate and graduate engineering students. The object of the competition is to simulate real-world engineering design projects and their related challenges. Each team’s goal is to design and build a single-seat, all-terrain, sporting vehicle whose structure contains the driver. The vehicle is to be a prototype for a reliable, maintainable, ergonomic, and economic production vehicle which serves a recreational user market.

The event takes place in two stages. The first stage is the virtual round where the teams need to submit the design of their ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) and justify their design considerations. Only after clearing this round are the team allowed to work on the fabrication of their ATV. The second round is the main event which consists of static and dynamic events. Static events include design, sales, cost presentation and Technical Inspection. The dynamic events range from a simple acceleration test to a 4-hour endurance race.

TEAM TURBONITES is the Motorsports team of Loyola-ICAM College of Engineering and Technology. We are a group of self-financed, self-governed students from the Department of Mechanical Engineering. We have been participating in this event for the past 3 years. With such a brief history, we have become a rising underdog in this national event. The year 2016 was our debut into Baja SAE. Being the first time, we found a lot of difficulties in designing the ATV and we couldn’t clear the virtual round.

However, 2017 was a comeback. We were able to clear the virtual round learning from the previous year’s mistakes. Once we started the fabrication of our ATV, we were faced with a lot of challenges, both technically and financially. Being a team, we were able to overcome those hurdles and our ATV was ready for the main event. After facing a lot of dirt (from the track), we were able to secure 119th rank among 190 teams all over India.

Now, 2018 was more than a comeback; like Phoenix rising from the ashes. There were a lot of failures in the past from which we had to learn and improvise. And that’s what we did; we improvised. We secured 35th rank all over India in the virtual round and 5th in Tamil Nadu among 385 teams all over India. We fabricated our ATV (nickname: Nightmare v2.0), but this time, we made custom designed parts that suited the dynamics of our ATV. With the help of some sponsors, were able to build our ATV the way we wanted to build it. In the main event, Nightmare v2.0 was tested to the limit. In the 4-hour endurance race, we completed 13 laps. This put us 32nd all over India and 1st in Tamil Nadu in this event.

Now, TEAM TURBONITES has started to become a brand name in the Baja SAE event and we soon hope to become the top contenders. None of this would be possible without the help of our sponsors. Last but not the least, we would like to thank the LICET Management for providing us space and the power supply and also granting us permission for unrestricted working hours to work for this competition.