TeamKART is an officially sponsored research project run by students under the Sponsored Research and Industrial Consultancy Cell (SRIC) and the department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Kharagpur. Since it came into existence, TeamKART has been involved in researching, designing and assembling prototype Formula race cars.
In the year 2008, a group of formula one enthusiasts from IIT Kharagpur under the leadership of Sidhartha Khastagir decided to form a team which would work and build Formula one race cars, and out came TeamKART. The team survived the initial stages post its inception, where it faced a shortage of funds and a lack of technical knowledge, under the guidance and support of Prof. PP Chakraborty (present Director, IIT Kharagpur) and Prof. Sunando Dasgupta (previous Dean SRIC, IIT Kharagpur). And the things have gone only uphill since then.
PERFORMANCE RECORD IN FSAE/FS
TeamKARTrepresents IIT Kharagpur in Formula Student (FS) competitions in the national and international level. Formula Student is Europe’s most established educational motorsport competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) where students from various universities across the globe participate and showcase their designing prowess. A prototype race car in FS is judged on numerous facets including cost & manufacturing, acceleration, fuel economy, safety and endurance. Hence, the overall expertise of the team is evaluated on the basis of their car’s standard as a potential product. Apart from that, FSAE also encompasses all aspects of a business including research, design, testing, developing, marketing, management, and fund raising.
FSAE UK, 2010 saw the first ever participation of TeamKART in such an event and it appeared with it’s first experimental car, the KX1. The participation was however limited to static events. The team stood 9th in the cost report analysis and was one of the six teams to be nominated for Airbus Teamwork Award.
Ever since the KX1, TeamKART has manufactured four more cars namely- K1, K2, K2.2 and K3. The K2.2 proved it’s mettle in Formula Design challenge 2015 where the team secured a runners-up spot, both in Business Plan Presentation and Cost and Manufacturing Report.
Their latest car- the “K3” is loaded with subtle design changes which not only makes it different from the rest of it’s predecessors but also makes it exceptionally superior in terms of performance and looks. They employed the KTM 390-IC engine for the first time as opposing to their usual Honda CBR600RR. This was also the first time they performed engine tuning which makes it better in handling and fuel efficiency(a whopping 17kmpl). Also, the use of carbon fibre body panels in K3 ensures that the weight of the car is restricted at 220 kg therefore making K3 the lightest car that the group has developed. The car clocked a top speed of 160kmph and goes from 0-100 in 5.2 seconds. The transmission used in the car is a sprocket chain system and their suspension system is a double wishbone type which is the same as used in F1 cars. The team’s latest participation in Formula Bharat 2017, which was held in the last week of January, saw the team securing the second spot in the Business Logic Presentation out of about 70 teams.
The entire team is divided into three subdivisions which are Vehicle Dynamics, Powertrain and Corporate & Public Relations. Vehicle Dynamics in brief consists of the Chassis system, suspension system and aerodynamics system which takes care of how the car handles and behaves on roads. Powertrain is a subsystem that involves parts of the car that generate power and which transmit them to the wheels. The Corporate and PR division deals with the funds and business end of things. Their belief lies in complete transfer of knowledge from one batch to the next and hence the senior members of the team act as direct mentors. That’s how they strive for continuous improvement of the knowledge base of the team.
TeamKART has always been backed by IIT alumni and it also has a number of generous sponsors. Among it’s lead sponsors are Tata Motors, Hurix Systems, Carbon Light, Motul, Henkel, JCB and Novoflex. The alumni of IIT Kgp who have donated for their projects in the past include Mr. Bajrang Jain, Mr. Debabrata Ghosh, Mr. Dinesh K. Sachdeva and Mr Vijay Kiyawat among many others.