Formula Student 2018 will be held in the United Kingdom from 11th to 15th July 2018 and is expected to feature over 3,000 students, 5,000 attendees, 250 industry professionals and over 90 universities from 26 countries. Organized by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, it is Europe's most established educational motorsport competition and is backed by the industry and high-profile engineers. 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 have successfully claimed a place for the competition at the iconic Silverstone Circuit, the home of British motorsport. The University of Moratuwa’s TeamSHARK is proud to be one of these 92 teams.
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. Eachiteration 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. The project not only focuses on the technical aspects but looks into project management, financial planning and marketing. DIMO hopes to inspire future talent in Sri Lanka by providing them the opportunity to showcase their skill and passion on a global stage. Several alumni from TeamSHARK 2016 have 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.
This is not the first time Sri Lanka will be 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 DIMORA P1 successfully secured three awards - “Best Newcomer in Class 1”, “Best Individual Driver” and “Dedication to Formula Student”.
Ranjith Pandithage - Chairman & Managing Director of DIMO stated, “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 University of Moratuwa to facilitate this exciting project and we are indeed proud to be part of such an initiative that directly connects with our automobile business.” While congratulating the team, Prof. Kapila Perera - Vice Chancellor of University of Moratuwa stated, “The University of Moratuwa has always supported the blend of student initiatives and the genuine support from the industry. TeamSHARK, competing in the Formula Student2018 after the great achievements of 2016, is one mighty example of such collaborative effort. Well done, TeamSHARK.”
Vijitha Bandara - Director of DIMO stated, “We were keen on sharing our knowledge and expertise with University of Moratuwa 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.”
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 300kg DIMORA P1 (2016). A 3-cylinder 650cc Yamaha engine, 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.