Pune: BAJA SAEIndia champions College Of Engineering Pune (COEP) has just raised the bar in making and sustaining an All Terrain Vehicle as they put on an impressive show in the BAJA SAE Kansas and BAJA SAE Illinois, the two events in the United States.
The COEP team rode on to their kart MKX1and achieved an overall ninth position in Kansas and 11th in Illinois.
“The US BAJA is one of the oldest and toughest events where the teams like Rochester University, Michigan, Cornell University along with colleges from Brazil and Canada compete. We lacked a few things but about the rest, I can say, it was very good work done by our team,” said Tejas Belgamwar, a member of the COEP team.
Things began on a decent note in Kansas, as the Pune team claimed the fourth position in designing and to clear technical inspection round, the COEP needed two attempts.
Nature also had a role to play as thunderstorms cancelled all the dynamic events.
“It is a first come, first serve basis, so when our turn came, the event was called off due to thunderstorms.
“The endurance race is completely different than what we get here and as we were re competing with the top colleges and champions from their respective regions. We needed to deliver the best and we managed to secure fifth spot,” added Tejas.
After securing 9th position in Knasas, Team COEP moved to Illinois where they began with a bang by claiming the top spot in acceleration section.
“In BAJA India, we always remained on top in all aspect on a regular basis, but to come here and beat top teams like Michigan is what we wanted,” said Tejas.
Another team member Shubham Konda shared the same views.
“They are No. 1 in the US, so beating them is something, which we had aimed for. It was the best feeling when a team member of Michigan congratulated us and told me that you are the first team after a long time to have beaten us.”
Things began to look rosy for COEP as they claimed top spot again in Hill Climb event and as COEP was just looking to improve their overall rankings on the points table, they were disqualified in Manoeuvrability.
Team COEP pulled up their performance and achieved fifth position in Rock Crawl and Designing respectively.
In the endurance race, COEP started from pole, which was an achievement in itself for the city college. It was the first time in 40 years that any non-American team has taken the pole.
“We started on a great note but engine failure at pit stop brought us to 49th spot. From there, we managed to finish at 17th,” said Tejas.
Totally, nine colleges from India had been to the US for the BAJA events. Along with COEP there were two more city colleges – Pimpri Chinchwad College of Engineering and Sinhgad College of Engineering.
BAJA SAE Kansas: Overall: 9th (Design 4th, Accleration 3rd, Endurance 5th).
BAJA SAE Illinois: Overall: 11th (Accleration 1st, Hill Climb 1st, Rock Crawl 5th, Endurance 17th).