Team Shark members together with the DIMO management and University of Moratuwa Engineering Faculty officials
Pic by Pradeep Pathirana
By Supun Dias
The D-Mora P 1 race car built by the engineering students from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Moratuwa with the backing of Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO) won three awards at the world’s biggest student motorsport competition ‘Formula Student 2016’ held at Silverstone Circuit in the United Kingdom.
Sri Lankan team Shark won the Top Individual Driver, which went to Induruwa Munasinghe, Best Newcomer in Class 1 and Dedication to Formula Student Award, after competing with 130 teams from 30 countries.
This was the first time a Sri Lankan team has taken part in the prestigious event, which is the most established educational motorsport competition in Europe.
The D-Mora P 1 race car was designed and built from scratch and took almost two years to complete. At a much-needed time, DIMO came into sponsor the whole project and the country’s representation at the event. Team Shark was given expert advice, guidance and had complete access to DIMO’s facilities in Colombo, Siyambalape and Weiweriya.
The students underwent rigorous testing procedures in tilt, brake and noise tests. After a successful participation in static events including design, cost and sustainability, team Shark participated in dynamic events that included skid pad, acceleration, sprint, endurance and efficiency.
At the competition, team Shark was given the 36th place in design amongst 130 other teams. The specialists at Silverstone commended the body and aerodynamics and the advanced paddle shifting system used by the Sri Lankan students.
DIMO Chairman Ranjith Pandithage speaking at a special event held at DIMO 800 Centre to felicitate team Shark said that his company is proud of the achievements of the students and that he is willing to continue to support this cause in the years to come. He also noted that these students are assets to Sri Lanka and the respective authorities should do the maximum to retain these students as most of their talents are immediately acquired by other countries and multi-nationals.
Team Shark leader Harshana Kelasha said that it is an honour and a privilege to bring three prestigious awards for Sri Lanka. He thanked the efforts taken by DIMO and the administration of the University of Moratuwa to support their entrance to the Formula Student 2016 competition.
The students are willing to continue their presence at the Formula Student competition in the years to come and they have already made plans to prepare a team under Induruwa Munasinghe next year.