Designing a car & making it is not as easy as sitting & watching a movie on a couch. Making a car doesn’t just mean to join the parts we bought; it needs to have deep knowledge of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, dynamics & must also be able to do calculations which fits the rules & which doesn’t damage the car. One cannot do this being a book worm; it requires lot of creativity, ‘engineering expertise and motor racing skills. Team Ashwa has proved that they have all these qualities.
R S Kulkarni who advises the team says:
The team is the number one formula racing university team in the country. It competes with teams from US and Europe who have vast financial and other resources at their disposal.
We have to work with what we can afford. They are also competing against teams which have more than two decades experience in automotive racing. Yet the team has bagged the best Asian team award and is in the top rankings
The body of the car is made from glass fibre. Also the engine is taken from an crashed bike to reduce the expenses.
They say that the engine capacity is 600 cc & can hit a top speed of 100 km/hr or a few more.
It cost them around 15 lakh Rs to make it. Total 7 prototypes were made; the last one made in 2011.
Kulkarni says that this amount may seem high at first, but when compared to foreign teams who spend around whooping Rs 2 crore to design and build their own cars. “One thing we have been appreciated for is the cost-effectiveness of our car and yet its very good performance.”
The car model name was earlier RVIANZ, to commemorate student life at RVCE. Later, it was shortened to RZ.
Ashwa team has been participating in the competitions of FSAE since 2005. This is because they completed their first prototype(out of 7, as I mentioned earlier) in 2005. They participated in the competition in 2005 & 2006 in Australia followed by 2007 & 2008 in Germany & 2009-10 in Italy.
The team’s last prototype, RZ X, successfully completed the Formula ATA Italy event in 2010 winning The Best Asian Team award.
If anyone is wondering – why the word Ashwa ? what does it mean ? Well, I should tell you that Sanskrit is most ancient & philosophical language of India. According to Sanskrit, Ashwa means Stallion. Hence, the name was chosen for the team.