‘As this is our first venture, we want to keep hybrid model as basic’

A love for race cars and a passion to build them is the dream that started it all for this group of mechanical engineering students from R.V. College of Engineering.

Ashwa Racing, the race car team that was formed in 2003, has come a long way since it designed its first race car in 2005. On Thursday, the team unveiled two more prototypes, one of which was their first hybrid model and the other, a combustion model. Over the past decade, the team has built 10 combustion models.

Vignesh A.S., a fifth semester mechanical student of RVCE, said that the combustion model ran at 100 to 120 kmph while the hybrid ran at 50 kmph. “Since this is our first venture, we wanted to keep the hybrid model basic. The electricity generated by the internal combustion engine is discharged into two DC motors,” he said, explaining the working of the hybrid model.

The new prototypes were developed by the current batch of fourth year students from different engineering disciplines, all aged between 18 and 22 years. The young team says that initially students from other fields did not show much interest, which has changed over the years.The team now has over 100 students as members, including several alumni.

The RVCE faculty, lauded the team’s efforts, said that funding was an issue earlier. However, the team now had 32 sponsors, they said. The team, which has competed in Australia, Germany and Italy, say that they want to promote motorsport as it was yet to catch on in India. Shobit Jain, a team member, said that they planned to build an electric model in the next few years. The team has bagged prizes since 2005 at various student design competitions in Formula SAE (FSAE) and Formula Student, where they bagged prizes. Nikhil Needagi, a fourth year student, said that they were awarded the FSAE cost award twice in Italy as their cars were very cost effective. They were also awarded the best Asian racing team among 15 others at the FSAE event last year, he said.

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