Shakedown and Bass Battle 2017
‘Living life a quarter mile at a time’ has to be one of the most popular automotive clichés amongst racing enthusiast today. But then again if there’s one thing to legitimately criticize about it would be the thought of how difficult can it be to grab the steering, step on the gas pedal and hold it on straight to four hundred meters? Yet there’s this large community of people, or shall I say automotive enthusiast – proper petrol heads who believes in competing in this class of motor competition.
Speaking of competition, another type of very unusual battle have been gaining popularity over the past few years in the capital. Yes it involves vehicles and yes it involves some kind of power. But it doesn’t involve the horsepower, torque, suspension, or even the chassis if that is what was coming across your mind.
Instead this battle is all about how much electrical power you’re car’s audio system is running on and so how loud your car’s woofers can get, thus conceiving the name “Bass Battle”.
All this high revving and hard thumping action happened on a bright and sunny February Sunday at the Delhi Technological University in New Delhi.
So I’m up bright and early and on my way towards the DTU campus in Rohini, the venue for Shakedown 2017. The minute I enter the venue, it takes me by awe that a university campus has been transformed into a mini race track. So many cars lined up for the drag race patiently waiting for their turn to shred the tarmac and then there were bikes smoking the road. I could feel the excitement rushing through my body.
The screaming superbikes, the burnouts in the pits to make the tyres hot and sticky, the sheer variety on display – it is enough to make a believer out of even the most hardcore cynic!
And then comes the heavy machinery. There’s a Ford Mustang, a Bentley continental GT, even a Hummer! The cars were from every segment starting from sport cars to luxury sedans like BMW, Audis, to Skoda Superbs…. You name it and there it was adding to the splendor of the event.
So in all this talk of high end vehicles lets not forget that a drag race isn’t complete without the presence of some modified JDMs, speaking of which a turbo powered Zen and a heavily tuned up Brio with a suite of aero mods also made their presence felt in an enhanced way.
Followed by the flagger’s signal, began the drag race with screeching tyres and gushing crowd all over the place.
Participants had the advantage to choose their own competitors, and the reward was just the recognition which they all were aiming for. The excitement went to another level when the super bikes entered the track with their speed lighting up the race track with their fire.
The highlight of the race was the run between mustang and yellow Bentley where after a close run, Mustang took the upper hand and won the race.
While the drag race came to an end, we headed towards the area where dB drag was going to begin. A brief Peace reigns over the campus road and the car enthusiasts fastened their belts for the Bass Battle, another highlight of the event. About 40 cars charged up to shakedown the campus….LITERALLY!!
If I call the morning as an appetizer then the evening was surely going to be my full three course meal.
The participants were divided into categories as per the maximum power (in watts) their amplifier could throw at the subwoofer with separate entries for single and multiple woofers. There were categories ranging from 500 watts to 5000 watts and then beyond to open category.
Just in case if you are thinking what Bass Battle or a dB (decibel) Drag Race is, let me give you a little briefing first;
In the realm of “car audio sports,” decibel drag racing is an international circuit of dedicated bass heads vying to build the loudest and bass heavy sound system on the planet. In dB Drag Racing, it’s also all about Power, Amplifiers, subwoofers, airtight cabins, and enclosure designs all working together to beat the competition to the top of the dB tree.
A car (or sometimes 2) is pulled up to the line and let it rip with a special audio track for about 30 seconds. The resulting sound pressure level (SPL) is then measured in decibels by a sensor placed inside the car and is directly projected on a big screen for everyone to gaze upon. In these type of competitions the participants are fighting for the loudest car in their own respective class.
The highest SPL recorded in India was in 160-dB range by a Swift. How loud is that, you may ask? Well, the sound of a jet engine at full throttle registers around 160 dB. And every 3 dB you squeeze out of your system equates to a doubling of the power and apparent volume.
And also, The current world record for loudness in a dB drag race was set last summer in São Paulo, Brazil, in a Ford Bronco fitted with Plexiglas windows and bolted-on doors, with thousands of pounds of concrete sealing the cracks. The SUV topped out at 183.5 decibels. In other words, damn loud!
So the screen was ready, the trophies were set, it was time to line up. The first contestant entered the aisle with his car and marked the beginning of the battle. The Thumb drive was inserted and the audition began. Curiosity hovered and all eyes on the score board as the sound track reached its finals seconds. With the final score of 135.1 dB, the benchmark was set for the other competitors of 0 – 500 watts single woofer category.
But at the end it was Ansh Preet’s i10 who took the first place with the score of 138.8 dB.
In the next category, there was a fierce battle between the cars of Rohit Puri and Praveen Dabas with both crossing 141 dB but it was Rohit Puri’s i20 which squeezed out a satisfying 141.7 dB clinching the win by just 0.3 dB.
Next up were three cars each competing for 501 – 1000 watts single and multiple category respectively. While in the single woofer category Krishan Bhadana’s Swift won the battle with 141.4 dB and Karan Soni’s i20 triumphed in the multiple woofers category with 143.6 dB.
The 1001 – 2000 watts category saw the maximum number of participants with 4 cars competing in single woofer and 10 cars competing in multiple woofer categories.
Prashant Bana took the first place trophy in the single woofer category with a score of 145.7 dB and Sahil Mittal with his SUV outranked the other 9 competitors of the multiple woofer category with a respectable 147.8 dB.
Moving on to the pro class beginning with 2001 – 3000 watts category. There were 8 cars getting ready for the warfare. However the ultimate battle of titans went down between the cars of Ayush Taneja and Happy Singh.
By barely a whisker, Ayush with his Terrano inched out to first place with a score of 148.8 dB. For the first time such a close action was witnessed by me and I can tell you it’s a massive thrill.
Though the heavy weight cars were waiting to compete in the next categories.
Now down to the final Pro Class 3001 to 5000 category. As always, the Pro Class is full of serious competitors. No one wants to lose at this level. For this battle we had 4 cars, all hungry to earn the top title. The crowd was thrilled to see the cars hitting the aisle, many couldn’t control their excitement and jumped over to get closer to the demo runs.
One after the other the participating car came and got their SPL score while the crowd got more electrified with the increasing numbers on the score board. Some cars had the ability to shake me to a level that brought shivers down my spine. But in the end, Manoj Mehra with his gold Getz won the round and furthermore took the crown for the loudest car in the battle with an incredible 152.2 dB.
So the final score board looked likes this,
In the 0 – 500 watts single woofer, Ansh Preet Singh set a score of 138.8 dB to claim first place. In second place was Karan Gosain, who attained a score of 137.1 dB.
Rohit Puri completed the run with 141.7 dB and secured first place in the 0 – 500 Watts multiple woofer category. Praveen Dabas just missing out the top won the second place with 141.4 dB.
The 501 – 1000 Watts single woofer category saw Krishan Bhandana come out tops with a score of 141.4 dB. Siddharth Sharma took the second place with 140.1 dB.
Karan Soni with 143.6 dB to finish first in the 501 – 1000 Watts Multiple woofer category. Rishi Khanna not far behind took second place scoring a respectible 142.1 dB.
The 1001 – 2000 Watts single woofer battle ended with an unbeatable score of 145.7 dB by Prashant Bana and Dollar Ahluwalia securing second place scoring 141.3 dB.
Coming to the 1001 – 2000 Watts multiple Woofer category, Sahil Mittal left the competition far behind and secured first place with a score of 147.8 dB. Karan Kapoor settled in for second place scoring 145.2 dB.
After an incredible battle in the 2001 – 3000 Watts Pro category, Ayush Taneja edged out to first place with 148.8 dB beating Happy Singh’s 148.7 dB.
And finally the first place for 3001 – 5000 Watts pro category and crown for the loudest car of the event went to Manoj Mehra with a final score of 152.2 dB. Tej Dhiman with a score of 150.9 dB took home the runners up trophy.
With the weekend at an end, I can honestly say that my attendance at the shakedown and bass battle’17 was one of the best. Congrats to all the winners and especially to everyone involved in helping and contributing to making this event such a fabulous success.
A specials thanks to the organisers of Bass Battle’17, Nitish Rai , Ashna Magon and Driven for all their hard work and support for this artcle.