TeamSHARK of University of Moratuwa to compete in Formula Student 2018

Tuesday, 3 July 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


By Maleesha Sulthanagoda 

Diesel and Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO) and TeamSHARK of the University of Moratuwa (UoM) unveiled the DI-MORA P2 race car built by the university students which will take part in the Formula Student UK 2018 competition at a media briefing event held on Tuesday (26).

The world’s biggest student motorsport competition, Formula Student UK 2018 is poised to host over 3,000 students, 5,000 attendees, 250 industry professionals and over 90 universities from 26 countries. The event which is organised by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), is Europe’s most established educational motorsport competition. The competition challenges university student engineers from around the world to design, build and race a single-seat racing car in one year in order to compete in static and dynamic events, demonstrating their understanding and testing the performance of the race car. 

Dozens of Formula Student alumni have progressed to Formula 1 and hundreds more are now working at the world’s largest automotive firms helping to design and engineer the cars of tomorrow. Out of the applications received from universities around the world, 92 teams including TeamSHARK have successfully claimed a place for the competition at the iconic Silverstone Circuit, the home of British motorsport. 

DIMO Director Vijitha Bandara shedding light on the partnership with the UoM stated, “We were keen on sharing our knowledge and expertise with UoM and today we are happy to witness this achievement. This project will also reflect our commitment for innovation and enhancing the skills and competency levels in the country.”

DIMO Chairman and Managing Director Ranjith Pandithage speaking at the event mentioned the importance of innovation in the modern era and how DIMO is embracing said, “Innovation plays an important role in any endeavour and it is important for the corporate sector to encourage innovation in the country. This is one of the reasons DIMO collaborates with UoM to facilitate this exciting project and we are indeed proud to be part of such an initiative that directly connects with our automobile business.”

It is also important to note that this is not the first time that Sri Lanka has been represented at the Formula Student competition. DIMO and UoM previously sent a team in 2016, the first time a Sri Lankan team entered such a competition. The team and their race car, the DI-MORA P1 successfully secured three awards, “the Best Newcomer in Class 1”, “the Best Individual Driver” and “Dedication to Formula Student”.

This year TeamSHARK will be competing in the Formula Student UK 2018 competition with the new race car called the DI-MORA P2. The DI-MORA P2 is a completely new vehicle, built ground up by the students, using cutting edge designing and manufacturing methods. Built with high performance aircraft grade materials, the team has reduced the weight of the car to 195kg from the previously 300kg DI-MORA P1. A 3-cylinder 650cc Yamaha engine which will have an output of 68 brake horse-power (bhp) at 7200 revolutions per minute (rpm), coupled with a custom engineered paddle-shift transmission, propels the race car to 100mph in under 3.5 seconds. In addition, using novel manufacturing technologies such as 3D-printing, the DI-MORA P2 has components designed for performance rather than using off-the-shelf parts. All this is combined in a sleek carbon fibre body, designed by the students and built at Southern Spars (Pvt) Ltd.

TeamSHARK is fully-sponsored by DIMO with the company providing financial support to build and test the car, funding the team’s trip to UK and covering the entire logistics of airfreighting the race car to UK for the competition. Each iteration of TeamSHARK’s race car has been given expert advice and guidance, with complete access to DIMO’s workshop facilities to build the car. This initiative has been taken up by DIMO as an investment into the development of skilled graduates, capable of solving complex problems through innovative thinking. Several alumni from TeamSHARK 2016 have also been selected by DIMO to work on multiple new automotive and mobility projects, including the conversion of a diesel safari cab into an all-electric Safari Cab.