A Formula One car designed by 25 undergraduate students of National Institute of Technology, Rourkela (NIT) won many accolades at the SUPRA SAE-2012, the racing event that took place at the Buddh International Circuit recently. The car, "Road Runner", was ranked second runners-up in skid pad test, sixth in overall design, ninth in autocross test, 12th in acceleration event and 18th in overall ranking.

The participating teams had to qualify through two rounds of scrutiny to reach the final round. The first round was held at Pune in which 117 cars brought in by engineering students from across the country participated. Sixty-three qualified for the second round at Noida with 25 going into the final round. The "Road Runner" was also the only car from Odisha to qualify for this national-level competition.

In the first round, i.e., Virtual SUPRA SAE the designs were approved by automobile experts from leading firms such as Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra, John Deere, etc. "The car had to go through various stringent tests like tilt, noise level and the dreaded brake tests before being allowed to compete in dynamic events such as skid pad, auto cross and acceleration in the second round and finally race on the tracks," said Mohanta.

"In the tilt test, the car was first tilted 45 degrees and then 60 degrees to check for any leakage. Our car passed the test after minor modification," he said. "In the next noise-level test, our car registered the lowest noise-level in the competition," he added.

"Then there was the dreaded brake test. It was important for us because our team had been disqualified last year," he said, adding that the team glided through. In the last round, the car was driven by two drivers for two laps each. "The first two laps were driven by super final year, Abhishek Swain and the last two by pre-final year Anand Amrit," Mohanta said, adding that the competition was victory for every team member.

"The car is equipped with state-of-the-art lateral 'n' longitudinal G sensors, RPM sensors and a self-developed GPS tracking system," said Mohanta.

Source: Times of India