Ashwa Riders Unleashing Potential in Go Kart Engineering
For Sahil Mohan Dhabale, Engineering warranted sportsman spirit and a never-say-die attitude to keep up his team’s spirit. After all, engineering was never just a stream of study for his own success; he realized it was a portal of India’s latent potential in an interesting engineering field, karting or race engineering.
As a captain should lead from the front, Sahil rightly led his team “Ashwa-Riders” to victory in one India’s prestigious go-kart events, Indian Kart Racing Championship 2018 after early setbacks couple of years ago.
This is a saga of an extraordinary achievement. A group of final year students of Bachelor of Engineering of St. Vincent Pallotti College of Engineering and Technology formed a motorsport team named “Ashwa-Riders” in 2015 to make Go-Kart.
The ebullient team participated in National Kart Racing Championship in the same year. The team tried to be their best but ended up ranking 20th position, only to have Sahil and company brooding over how to improve the project.
Time had an opportune moment and chance for them in store and the patent was approved by the government of India recently. This rejuvenated the team as it was a big break for them.
They modified their earlier Go-Kart model to make it lighter, faster and more energy efficient. They remodeled the structure with Aluminium (AI) and En 19 (harder composition of AI) replacing iron, 1018 material, and 1012 material used in the earlier model. They equipped the new model with a good braking system with perfect calculations. For driver's safety, the machine has the safest breaking system. It also has automatic gear shifting facility. Most important thing is the energy is being generated by brake power.
Team “Ashwa-Riders” named the innovative model as ‘Mirage-2.0’.
It was now for them and their innovation to prove their mettle. The team took part in the Indian Kart Racing Championship 2018, organized by ISIE India in accordance with the FMSCI at the Buddha International Circuit, Noida.
Overcoming the pre-virtual round held in Bangalore, ‘Ashwa-Riders’ got selected for the final round where they competed with 50 colleges.
‘Mirage-2.0’ cleared strict inspections of FMSCI inspectors in each specification including technical inspection, design, and innovation, business round, braking test and acceleration, skid pad, final endurance.
Now it was time to showcase its prowess on the racing circuit. The drivers of the team ‘Samprit’ and ‘Anmol’ showcased their fabulous driving skills with ‘Mirage-2.0’. The team bought the entire process to fruition and bagged the 'Best Acceleration' and 'Best Endurance' award, with a cheque of 10000 in each category. They also bagged the Winner’s trophy and a cheque of ₹ 100000, presented by Mr.Vinod Gupta chairman of ISIE.
‘Mirage-2.0’ was no longer a dream or an optical illusion of future per se. It was the fruition of relentless efforts of few of country’s mega minds.
In the words of Sahil, “the support and love of our parents helped us a lot. Moreover, we are really thankful to all the faculty members and especially to Professor Mr. Homeshwar Nagpure and Abhranil Banerjee who channelized the entire programme. The dedication, passion and hard work of each member of the team have led us to excel in the competition and make our dream project successful.”
“While creating the model, it faced a lot of challenges. Primarily the designing sector had some problems and thus, the vehicle was colliding from time to time. We had to research on it to make it absolutely perfect”.
“Money was also a challenge; we tried our best to reduce cost and make the total expenditure within 80k, while it takes 1lakh 20k normally”, Sahil said on the challenges associated with the project.
However, the complete journey to carve Mirage-2.0 was extremely motivating.
On being asked about his motivation, Sahil says, “According to me, India doesn’t have enough race engineers and mechanics and not many institutions are catering to this. It has become a point for top Kart drivers to hire an engineer from Europe to be competitive. I dream to promote myself and eventually my country internationally in that place with enough Kart engineers. Building up projects like this is helping me to learn constantly and approach in different ways, thus making our skills and mind sharper day by day.”