am Abrar Ahmed, the captain and driver of Team DCET Racing, the inaugural champions of ISK. We are a team from Deccan College of Engineering and Technology, affiliated to Osmania University, Hyderabad. This is a story of how a group of 20 2nd year students in Mechanical Engineering, with no design or fabrication experience, came together to build a racing kart, and put in great efforts over 5 months in learning design software, performing various analysis on the CAD models, then actually fabricated the kart and were triumphant in their first ever event as a team.

    Where it began:

    We had just finished our 3rd semester exams and one day on Facebook, I saw a poster for the International Series of Karting. I decided to check it out and mailed to the ISK registration team to send me the Rulebook and Registration guidelines.
    This was when I realized that the event perfectly suited us as it did not require SAE membership. We decided to call for a meeting among the interested students to register for the event. Everyone was quite happy with this, so we went and got the approval from our management to form a team and participate in the event.

    Building the Kart: 

    The chassis design took almost a week to complete. We still had to perform analysis on it, so we didn’t know how the chassis would perform under various loads. None of us knew any analysis software to perform analysis so we decided to take some help with it. Now that the design was validated through the analysis, we were all set for fabrication. We worked out an approximate budget for building the kart and were overwhelmed by the expected costs of manufacturing. We did not get any financial support from the college, and hence we decided to approach people for sponsorship. It was vital for us to divide the team into 2 teams, one Management team and one Technical Team as all of us couldn’t afford to be involved in all activities simultaneously because of the time constraints.
    In the first week of January 2015, the management of ISK conducted a Driver’s Training Program to train the drivers of the participating teams on various aspects of competitive karting. We selected 2 of our best drivers and they attended the training. The training proved quite helpful for both drivers as they both improved substantially.

    Meanwhile, the management team made a sponsorship brochure and started approaching various companies for sponsorship, and the technical team collected working capital from the existing team members. The fabrication and sponsorship work was going on simultaneously and by the 2nd week of February we had successfully finished the fabrication of the chassis. We then bought a bike (TVS Jive) as it was had an engine with an Automated Manual Transmission, which we thought was perfect for our application.  We then mounted the engine, and brakes and were ready for our first test.
    The test proved to be quite good, and we decided to go ahead and finish the complete assembly of the kart. We had an unveiling ceremony of the kart during a fest organized by the Mechanical Department of our college on the 4th of March. The kart was scheduled to leave for Bangalore on 6th March.


    On the eve of the unveiling, all the team members test drove the kart. During this testing, one of them severely crashed which resulted in the complete destruction of the chassis and floor tray. We were scheduled to leave on the 6th for Bangalore in order to be ready for the event by 9th. We had 4 days left to completely re-fabricate the entire kart from scratch. We were also out of funds. This was a very emotional night for us and we were thinking of quitting the event. But as they say, one can only know their limits when they push themselves beyond their natural capabilities. We decided to send the team to Bangalore and make arrangements for us. 4 of us stayed back and started working on the kart again. We collected funds again and completely finished fabricating the kart in a record time of 3 and a half days. We put the kart in a pick-up truck and left Hyderabad at 1:00 am on 9th March and drove all the way to Bangalore. We were on time for the registration and completed the registration formalities.

    From Building the Kart to Racing it:

    There were a few technical problems with the kart, so we failed to clear the Technical Inspection on the First day. We managed to clear the Technical Inspection on the next day after performing a few modifications on the Kart. We then went ahead with the Dynamic sub events. We were consistent with our performance on track. Though we were not the best in all the sub events, we were consistent enough to enter the Final Race. The final race was for the Top – 6 teams. We started the race 4th, and remained consistent throughout the race. We kept overtaking karts which were faster than ours, whenever the drivers made mistakes. We finished the race as the Champions of ISK-2015.

    ISK taught us a lot of lessons for life. If inculcated a fighting spirit in us and taught us that if you are consistent, results are always in your favor. 

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