Manipal, November 14: Formula Manipal is awarded “Most Motivated Team” at Formula Student Austria 2010. Formula Manipal is the Formula Student team of Manipal University and has been participating in the international Formula Student series for the past 3 years. Formula Student is an international engineering design competition where university students from all around the world design, build and compete with a 600cc formula style car.
With the experience gained from the previous two events, one at Italy in 2008 and UK in 2009, the team went with greater confidence for the 2010 event. Based on the previous two performances, the team was invited to participate at the most challenging event i.e. Formula Student Austria 2010, for which only the top 30 teams from around the world were selected and Formula Manipal being the only one from Asia.
The main objective for the 2010 season was to build a light weight (i.e. to reduce the weight by as much as 100 kg) and high performance race car. To achieve this aim, the team had to source special materials such as carbon fiber, titanium and also high performance race grade parts. National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Bangalore agreed to support the team with the required carbon fiber, so also many other corporates in Bangalore who came forward to assist the team for manufacturing of the parts using advanced technologies such as CNC machining, rapid prototyping, laser cutting and water-jet machining.
The major financial sponsors were Manipal University and Manipal Universal Learning. Other corporate sponsors were Motul Lubricants, CEAT, BSA motors, Mountain Dew etc. Thus the team was able to import race grade custom shock absorbers (Penske), Hoosier racing tires and light weight magnesium alloy wheels. National instruments provided the team with equipment for Data Acquisition Systems and a German company called Lemo Gmbh sponsored the team with F1 grade electrical connections.
The end result was a fantastic Formula Student car; the team christened it FM-X. At 260 kgs (dry), it is the lightest Indian Formula Student car till date and the first to have a complete carbon fiber body-work. The team tested the car at Torq03 karting track in Bangalore for two weeks and tuned the car to achieve the perfect set up for the event. The team reached Austria a week before the competition and tested the car with one of the local teams namely Joanneum Racing Graz. The car underwent extensive testing at Graz, including wet weather testing and the final tweaks were made to make the car competition ready.
The Formula Student Austria competition was held in Melk from 11th – 14th August 2010. The team started off on a high note in the static events finishing 4th in the cost event and 17th in the business presentation event, proving that the FM-X concept was commercially viable. The team was cleared all the technical and safety inspection i.e. Noise Test, Tilt Test, Brake Tests without major problems. The team managed to get the car on the starting line of the concluding event called, Endurance, where the car had to complete 22 laps.
The FM-X completed 11 laps with competitive lap times but when the car came for the driver change after the half way mark, the Race officials found that there was too much play in the rear wheel and pulled the car out, for safety reasons. The judges were impressed by the teams’ continuous and unrelenting effort and awarded them with the “Most Motivated Team” Award for FS Austria 2010!
It was a great experience for the team FM-X. They able to prove that no high performance parts or special materials are beyond our reach and that Indian Formula Student teams have the ability to compete with the best in the world. The 2010 Formula Manipal car was launched by the Chancellor, Ramdas M Pai at the Manipal University building on Friday.
Faculity Advisor: Prof. Dr. N. Yagnesh Sharma
Team Head: Pradeep Pandurangi
Technical Head: Vaibhav Kumar
Team Manager: Aaditya Agarwal
Vehicle Dynamics Team:
Shekar Kumar Jha
Apurva Vikram Agarwal