IIT Bombay Racing is a 70+ member team of highly motivated individuals – students from various branches who come together to push the limits of technology and their own abilities. Our team encompasses a wide range of fields where our team members can hone and test their talents. Ranging from mechanical systems like suspension and wheel assembly, data acquisition and battery management system in the electrical division to finance and marketing on the organizational side, there is something for everyone .
The team has an illustrious history, gathering laurels and producing all-rounded engineers since its inception in 2007. Thirteen years ago, a small group of like-minded engineering students came together who had a few things in common – a passion for cars and motorsport, and a desire to apply theoretical knowledge into designing and building a competitive racecar. In 2008, our first car ‘Vayu’ bagged the Perseverance award and the best new-entrant award at Formula Student Michigan. There has been no looking back since. Our first few cars were combustion vehicles, with ‘Prithvi’ winning the Raftaar award at BAJA for being the lightest and fastest car in the competition. After having conquered considerable ground, in 2012 we decided that we needed a new challenge, something we hadn’t tried before, and that was when we set our sights on the Formula Student UK as the first ever electric student team in India.
Our new range of electric cars was christened the EVO series, Evo 3.0 being the first Indian car to pass scrutineering and complete all the dynamic events at the Formula Student UK. Ever since then, the FSUK competition held in July at the Silverstone circuit UK has been our primary goal every year. The competition is viewed by the motorsport industry as the standard for engineering graduates to meet, transitioning them from university to the workplace. It is a kite-mark for real-world engineering experience, combining practical engineering experience with soft skills including business planning and project management. Every year we strive for perfection in dynamic events like acceleration run, skidpad and the endurance test as well as in static events like the cost report, design presentation and the business plan presentation. With feedback gathered from the competition over the years, our team has developed and incorporated new technologies like a self developed Battery Management System, Wireless real-time data transmission, in-house manufactured Carbon fibre & Kevlar battery box and 3-D printed titanium wheel uprights to name a few.
Static Events – FSUK ‘19
IIT Bombay Racing has won the Formula Student Award 5 times in a row, which is awarded only to 8 teams out of the 120+ teams competing each year. Our latest car ‘EvoK’ put up an electrifying performance in the 2019 season as it stood 4th among all electric teams. ‘EvoK’ had a breathtaking top speed of 160 kmph and a lightning quick 0-100kmph time of just 3.1 seconds. Our most recent victory was at the FSUK 2020 Virtual Engineering Design event in July 2020, where we beat all competition to bag the 1st position among 73 international teams from 21 countries all over the world. We secured an overall 4th position among all teams (Electric as well as Combustion Vehicles) in the Engineering Design, Business and Cost & Manufacturing event combined and are proud to be the first Indian team ever to have achieved this feat.
Manufacturing, testing and overseas shipping on this scale has been possible for our team through the collaboration of industry giants like Tata Motors, NRB Bearings, MAHLE and Ansys to name just a few. Our marketing team works hard to get these sponsors on board with us so that their technical expertise and resources are made available to the team, making it possible to design, manufacture, test and run our dream car every year.
IIT Bombay Racing functions as a three-tiered team, with Junior Design Engineers and Assistant Managers as sophomores, Design Engineers and Managers being third year students and a core team of 4th year students. Each year, we conduct a recruitment test for the freshers which are divided into three sections – mechanical, electrical and organizational and the candidate can attempt one or more of these. Based on its results, the candidates are assigned a series of trainee modules according to their inclinations, to build up their basic knowledge about the division that they plan to be a part of. A detailed presentation session is conducted at the end of each module where their understanding of a subsystem is gauged and they are allotted a subsystem based on their capability and interest. Thus begins the Junior Design Engineer’s tenure as a part of IIT Bombay Racing! A JDE is expected to work closely with his/her senior, a Design Engineer, and acquire as much knowledge as he/she can by the end of the JDE tenure. The JDE gradually gets more and more involved in the manufacture and testing, and finally takes over responsibility of the subsystem near the end of the tenure in the summers just before the competition, when the DE has left for his/her 3rd year summer internship.
Then comes the FSUK competition in July! This is the most exciting and awaited part of a student’s journey as a member of the Racing team. Everything about the experience – travelling to the UK, assembling the car and testing it one last time before the competition, setting up tents at the campsite and pits at the racetrack, interacting with student racing teams from all over the world, watching the car grip the tarmac and hear the sweet whirring of the electric motors as it accelerates – is wonderful, rewarding and deeply satisfying to say the least. Watching your efforts pay off in the midst of a cheering crowd almost brings tears to the eyes.
With exposure to many different teams’ way of operation and feedback received from the competition, our contingent returns from the UK and immediately begins the design phase for the next season. A new core team and the next batch of Design Engineers is selected after rigorous interviews to gauge their enthusiasm towards continuing as part of the team and their capability to take on the responsibilities involved. The new team then starts working on improvements to be made and puts in its heart and soul to carry forward the legacy of IIT Bombay Racing.
By the time a member, who had joined as a novice with nothing but a passion for building a racecar, leaves as a Design Engineer or a Manager, he/she has grown into a capable and responsible individual with hands-on experience in designing, working with modeling and simulation software, managing interdependencies in a fairly complex organization, dealing with industry experts, vendors and logistics service providers and most importantly – working as part of a team towards a common goal. Many of our alumni are still in touch with us, providing us with valuable inputs and insights that they have gathered after having spent a few years in the industry. One thing they mention though, and which is common to all of them, is that sense of being part of a family and the lifelong bonds that were formed here in the team, which imparted purpose to the years that they spent at IIT Bombay.
As a technical team, by the sheer size and scale of operation, IIT Bombay Racing leads by example. Events like the car launch and recruitment test are eagerly awaited, and the response from the students every year stands as a testament to the fruitful and satisfying journey awaiting every candidate.
Like every other organization in the world, we too have suffered from a disruption of our timeline in this unprecedented situation of a world-wide lockdown, which halted the manufacturing of our 12th car midway. We have decided to use this time made suddenly available to us to venture into unexplored territory and make decisive design changes that may affect all of our subsequent seasons. A shift to a monocoque chassis from a spaceframe chassis has long been on our minds and which hadn’t been possible because of a tight timeline, and we are looking at a possibility of implementing this in the coming season. A major advantage of an electric powertrain is the possibility of reusing the kinetic energy of the vehicle through regenerative braking, which had been unexplored up until now and might become reality soon. Eight years ago, we took the decision to go electric when no other team in India had ventured in that direction. Now a new avenue seems to be opening up as competitions in Europe see more entries of driverless cars each year. A fantasy it may be, at this point, but one with exciting challenges! After the recent win at FSUK 2020, spirits are high. With exciting new possibilities in sight, it’s a headlong rush to the finish line.
Onwards to the next lap!