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NIT in Melbourne race

Jamshedpur, Feb. 7: They are fast and fabulous. And in top gear for Formula SAE Design Challenge 2010, scheduled in Melbourne, Australia, later this year.

The drift racing team of NIT, Adityapur, whose DR110 model bagged third prize at the SAE-sponsored racing car meet in Chennai last December, are now busy upgrading their bright red speedster, which was the biggest draw at Enterprise Jharkhand, the industry and technology fair that concluded at Gopal Maidan today.

“Our team of 10 has now increased to 16. We are putting in our best efforts. Ours is the first formula car from the eastern region of the country. For the December event in Melbourne, we have already spoken to sponsors,” said Uttam Kumar, a second-year student.

The budding engineers have decided to upgrade the 150cc engine to 600cc, which they have to import at a cost of Rs 2.25 lakh. This will increase the speed to 180kmph.

The steering will also be upgraded from manual to “sensitive”, which is several notches above power steering.

The chassis of the car is made up of steel tubes while the body is of fibre glass. Att present, the petrol-driven car can travel 20km a litre and has a fuel capacity of 10 litres. The mileage will be improved.

“We have noted some 14 changes that need to be made.. Our aim is racing safe,” said Saikat Sardar, another member of the design team.

According to him, the current cost is Rs 3.12 lakh, but once modified, the car will be worth Rs 7 lakh.

Last time, the NIT students had managed to rope in a number of corporate houses. This time, however, they only have Tata Steel, which has agreed to sponsor Rs 5 lakh.

The institute approached the CII for displaying the racing car at the fair so that they could draw the attention of more sponsors.

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