Full Throttle: The launch of IITB’s Racing Car Orca

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For the past four years, IIT Bombay Racing has been competing in Formula Student UK, an annual student engineering competition. On Sunday, Orca (meaning a Killer Whale) its fifth entry to this prestigious competition, was finally unveiled in a widely attended and applauded event at LT-PCSA. The 75 diligent student members of the IIT Bombay Racing team have been hard at work since the past nine months to build this car from scratch to give a tough competition at the international level for the competition in July 2016.

The team leader, Rushabh Kapasi, welcomed everyone to the event by briefly overviewing the process of building the car – Simulation, Designing, Manufacturing and Testing. This was followed by a presentation about the technicalities of the car by Nilesh Bansod, Chief Mechanical of the Racing Team, where he explained how this year, through introduction of an improved vehicle model and steering simulations, and carbon-fiber manufacturing, emphasis has been placed on improving the handling and aesthetics. Also, as an improvement to last year, in-house carbon fibre manufacturing of various components has led to a large amount of weight reduction which has helped achieve faster cornering with no decrease in strength.

The IITB Racing Team

Some of the many commendable characteristics of the vehicle, at par with the best in the world, are – an acceleration of 0 to a 60 KMPH in 1.86 seconds, a top speed of 140+ KMPH and a Power to Weight ratio of 447 BHP per Tonne, comparable to the likes of Ferrari, Porsche and BMW. The whole project is very costly. Considering manufacturing and shipping costs, the budget is around 45 lakhs.

The team was then awarded the Formula Student Award by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, which consists of a cash prize of 3000 pounds, for the third consecutive time. IITB Racing is the only team in the world to have achieved this feat. The award is given to only 2 of 52 non UK teams every year, for greatest improvements in design.

Rushabh took the stage again to express the team’s gratitude towards the institute, and went on to thank the sponsors, some of whom took the opportunity to commend the team on their efforts and exemplary results. The faculty advisor from last year, Prof. Anirban Guha, was then invited to the stage where he admired the students’ passion and dedication towards this venture and applauded their achievements.

Orca was then finally unveiled to a mesmerizing light-show that had the audience enthralled. This was followed by a test run of the car on the KV road which was attended by eager onlookers who were enraptured by the speed with which the car took multiple rounds.

The team is going through the final rounds of preparation for the competition to be held in the second week on July. This competition is held on the tracks of Silverstone UK and over 100 student teams from around the globe participate in this. Focusing on ensuring manifestation of designs, the design decisions have been taken based on lap-time simulations and score computations to achieve the target of Top 20 finish.

Good luck, IIT Bombay Racing!