SAEIndia Supra is back in its fifth iteration in a bigger avatar. Set to be held from July 4 to July 9, 2016, at the Buddh International Circuit, the event will see the participation of 150 teams from SAEIndia Collegiate Clubs spread across the length and breadth of the country. Maruti Suzuki is one of the biggest sponsor since its inception in 2011.
The concept behind Supra (Super Racing) is that a fictional manufacturing company has contracted these student design teams to develop a small Formula style racing car. The prototype is evaluated to deem it production ready. The cars are then driven by the students only after their team’s car clears the necessary conditions of on-track safety and other guidance compliance.
Offering practical experience to engineering students goes a long way towards making them industry ready when they graduate. The competition follows international guidelines and norms which makes them capable of participating in international competitions as well. So far the total number of teams clearing the preliminary rounds have hovered around 10-12, but this time the training period has been extended to yield better results. Experts from Germany and Russia will also be guiding the teams.
The hope is that this year the final list of participants for Supra Student Formula will rise to the range of 25 to 30 teams. Special emphasis is also being given to increase the number of women participants. To help this two new awards have been inducted. One for the team with the maximum number of women, and the other, an individual award for the best woman participant. With around 200 women in the competition this time, the number still is far from what one would want. However, the attempt is being further solidified by the presence of an all women’s team from the national capital.
Students have to raise their own funds for building the car and an average expenditure of a team ranges between 6 to 11 lakhs. In the earlier editions the engines were sourced from Crompton Greaves but more freedom has been granted now. With the mill’s displacement capped at 600 cc by the organisers, it all boils down to the teams to work on their weight saving strategies to strive ahead of the others!