The Slope Formula

Four teams from the city will be participating in the first Red Bull Soapbox Race to be held in Mumbai this weekend

A number of innovative cars from several cities will be sliding down the Red Bull Soapbox Race to be held in Mumbai this Sunday. Among these will be four Pune teams Bad Piggies, Linnovators, Bull-o-Car Racers and Pune Stealth Bombers.

Altogether 70 teams have been selected from across the nation for the race, which has travelled to 77 cities across 40 countries.

The soapbox is essentially an "engineless" car. While, originally, it would be created out of wooden boxes and rudimentary backyard objects, designs have now become more funky right from the exterior artwork to the complex body structures that reduces wind drag, improves acceleration and facilitates easy braking.

Ankit Khandelwal, 27, who works with Infosys and heads the Bad Piggies team, says that their team was inspired by the Angry Birds game. The group submitted its entry form two days before the last date in September and received a confirmation in October.

P Nikhil, a mechanical engineer and team captain for Linnovators, says that the onus is on creativity, showmanship and design. "We have designed the car in the shape of a coffin because that is how an F1 car looks. The design has incorporated elements from stress-strain calculations, velocity and acceleration optimisation," he says.

The race will be a down-slope event in Mumbai where a driver will control the car so that it doesn't fall apart as it comes downhill.

Dr Rammohan, an orthodontist and hobby para-pilot, and the team constructor of the Pune Stealth Bombers, will use a lot of stickers that talk about ways to keep oneself healthy. "The car itself is shaped like a stealth bomber, as the name suggests, and it is built out of stainless steel," he says.

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