July 28, 2016 (LBO) The D-Mora P1 race car built by the engineering students from the University of Moratuwa with the backing of Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO), one of the leading automobile companies in Sri Lanka, won accolades at the world’s biggest student motorsport competition “Formula Student 2016”.
This was the first time a team from Sri Lanka took part in the event worked off at the Silverstone Circuit in the United Kingdom with the participation of over 130 teams from 30 countries.
Organized by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Formula Student is Europe’s most established educational motorsport competition and is backed by the industry as well as 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.
The team from the Faculty of Engineering, University of Moratuwa – TeamSHARK – was fully-sponsored by DIMO and consisted of 18 members led by Team Leader Harshana Kelasha. The 3 awards won included two team awards – “Best Newcomer in Class 1” and “Dedication to Formula Student Award”– and one individual award for the “Top Individual Driver” which was bagged by Induwara Munasinghe for his outstanding driving skills.
The competition was conducted under two categories – Classes 1 and 2. Class 2 focused on design presentations and costing while the more challenging Class 1 required teams to build a Formula Student race car in addition to other presentations. TeamSHARK underwent rigorous testing procedures in Scrutineering, Tilt, Brake and Noise tests.
After a successful participation in static events including Design, Cost & Sustainability and Business presentations, TeamSHARK participated in dynamic events that included Skid Pad, Acceleration, Sprint, Endurance and Efficiency.
The D-Mora P1 race car was designed and built from scratch and took almost two years to complete. Initial fund for the project was raised by selling tickets to department lecturers and alumni.
The 2008 batch of the Faculty of Engineering, made a donation which made it possible to fabricate the chassis of the car at Advance Engineering workshop at Delkanda.
However, at these early stages of the car’s design and development, Team SHARK was faced with a limited budget but after receiving a timely funding and logistical boost courtesy of DIMO, they were able to build a superior car that could compete at the global stage.
Additionally, TeamSHARK was given expert advice and guidance and had complete access to the facilities at DIMO’s Siyambalape, Weliweriya and Colombopremises in order to build a dynamic, world-class race car.
Speaking at the event, Ranjith Pandithage – Chairman & Managing Director of DIMO stated, “This wonderful team of highly-talented individuals has brought glory to Mother Lanka and the University of Moratuwa through their achievements at this international event.”
“They have surpassed all expectations and showed the world that Sri Lanka has the passion, talent and skill in abundance to be on par with any country in the world. We, at DIMO, are immensely proud to be a part of this extraordinary journey and we believe that greater things will be achieved by them in the years to come.”
Praising the achievements of the students, Vijitha Bandara – Director of DIMO stated, “The exceptional performance by TeamSHARK and their impressive race car in their maiden appearance has certainly made other countries sit up and take notice about the engineering talent in Sri Lanka.”
“We have certainly achieved our goal by identifying the talent in Sri Lanka and provide them with the relevant resources which have enabled them to bring back glory to the motherland in an international event.”
Prof. Kapila Perera, Dean, Faculty of Engineering of the University of Moratuwa stated, “The University of Moratuwa has always been the pinnacle of engineering education of our country and has proven, yet again, that its undergraduates are always ready to challenge the world. TeamSHARK of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, have glorified the name of our beloved institution once more and showered our country with glory and pride by winning three awards at their first-ever Formula Student – UK competition.
I am certain that they will do wonders in the world of Formula Student in the years to come. I am also grateful for the immense support provided by DIMO, the sole sponsor for this project, as their financial and technical superiority have given these students the opportunity to place our country amongst the giants in the automobile racing community.”
Harshana Kelasha, Team Leader of TeamSHARK said, “It is an honour and a privilege to be able to bring home three victories in our first participation for the Formula Student – UK competition, as a country and as a university. Although there were several failed attempts to initiate this project by senior batches, the dedication, passion and technical brilliance of our team members from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Moratuwa, managed to scramble together a few funds and donations to design and fabricate the chassis.
“We were at a crisis as to how to continue with the project due to the lack of funds, when Vijitha Bandara of DIMO contacted us, due to a newspaper article appearing on the Sunday Times, spawning the rebirth of TeamSHARK, through their financial and technical support. Our team managed to design and fabricate this car from ground up, and our technical skill was praised by teams and judges the world over. We hope to continue on our journey towards success in the years to come.”
Members of Team SHARK are as follows
- Harshana Kelasha (Team Leader)
- Rajive Wisidagama (Technical Director)
- Chathura Semasinghe (Operational Manager)
- Sajith Edirisinghe (Financial Manager)
- Nushen Senevirathna (Chief Engineer – Chassis)
- Sachithra Atapattu (Chief Engineer – Chassis)
- Rukmal Dhanushka (Chief Engineer – Power Train)
- Praneeth Weerathunga (Chief Engineer – Steering)
- Isuru Mudalige (Chief Engineer – Vehicle Dynamics)
- Induwara Munasinghe (Chief Engineer – Electrical)
- Amith Mudugamuwa (Marketing Director)
- Buddhi Herath (Event Coordinator)
- Thushara Sandakalum (Assistant Engineer – Power Train)
- Kasun Harshana (Assistant Engineer – Power Train)
- Shameen Kamburugamuwa (Assistant Engineer – Chassis)
- Navoda Lakshan (Assistant Engineer – Brakes and Dynamics)
- Jaliya Chinthaka (Assistant Engineer –Suspension)