Manipal University Chancellor launches Formula Manipal 2013 car

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Formula Car-1

Manipal, June 24: The Formula Manipal car to race at Hockenheimring at the Formula Student Germany 2013 and CzechRing at the Formula Student Czech Republic 2013 was formally launched by the Chancellor of Manipal University, Dr. Ramdas M Pai here at the Innovation Centre at Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) on Monday. The car, the fifth  one designed and assembled by the students of MIT will participate in two competitions this time. Since inception in 2008, Formula Manipal cars have participated in competitions in Italy (2008 and 2011), UK (2009) and Austria (2010).

Pro Chancellor, Manipal University Dr H.S.Ballal, and the Registrar, Dr G.K. Prabhu spoke on the occasion. Both of them felicitated the team members for designing the car and also building an improved version on the previous ones. It was also decided to explore the possibility of a having the University’s own race track where future cars, made by students, could practice before going to international competitions.

Formula Car-2

For the first time in the history of Formula Manipal the car will be participating in two competitions- Formula Student Germany and Czech Republic with their latest creation, the FMX3. Formula Manipal team aced the registration quiz for Formula Student Germany 2013 by clearing it in less than 72 seconds thereby becoming the first team in the world to qualify for the event. The event is to be held at Hockenheimring, Germany from July 30 to August 4, 2013. Formula Manipal is also the 7th team to register for Formula Student Czech Republic 2013 which will be held at the CzechRing from August 8 to11, 2013.

Started with an abstract idea in 2007, a group of students formed the most popular chapter ever of the Formula Student phenomenon here in Manipal. Formula Manipal is a team of 25 interdisciplinary undergraduate students of Manipal University that conceptualize, design, fabricate, manufacture, test and race a single seater, open wheel formula style race car and participates in events hosted by Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) at various places in the world.

Formula Car-3

Formula SAE (FSAE) is a competition organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) for the students. The challenge for the students is to design and manufacture a formula style race car with specific design and safety considerations as per the guidelines laid down by FSAE. The different cars competing at the event are evaluated on quality of design and performance. The competitions are held in 10 different zones around the globe. More than 2000 engineering students participate from over 23 countries to showcase their technical expertise.

Dr. N. Yagnesh Sharma is the faculty advisor of the team. The team has two sub-divisions- Technical and Management. The Technical Head of the team is Aakhilesh Singhania (3rd year, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engg.) and the Team Manager is Rishu Raj Singh (2nd year, Civil engg.). The technical team further subdivided into five subsystems- Engine, Electronics, Structure, Vehicle Dynamics and Transmission. Each subsystem works under the supervision of a subsystem head. All the team members work in coordination with each other without the help from professionals.

Improving upon last season’s design, the team has innovated and designed this year’s car with a more compact design with reduced weight and lighter bodywork. They use a Honda CBR 600RR engine. They have also incorporated the Drexler Differential on the car along with the pneumatic gear shift, thus giving them a serious edge in the competitions. There has been a reduction in the weight of the car by 16 kilograms which has been achieved by better packaging of all components on the tubular space frame chassis. The car has FRP bodywork and improved ergonomics. The team has also implemented a reliable pneumatic gear shifting and wireless data acquisition.

The team has already completed 200 kilometers of successful testing of the FMX3. They shall also be testing the FMX3 for a week in Austria with the Joanneum Racing Graz so that they can improve their performance at the international competitions. In the words of the team members, “At Formula Manipal, we don’t dream of building a racing car. We Build It.”

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