Interview: Meet the Egyptian Team that won the 1st place at FSUK’18

ASU racing team has recently made history in a competition held on Sunday at the Student Formula by the Institute Of Mechanical Engineers that’s held in Silverstone formula 1’s track in England. The ASU team not only finished off as a Class 1 winner of cost and manufacturing but also won the in the 6th spot in BLC and 13th in engineering design. The judging panel was stunned by the team’s spectacular choices of cost effectiveness; describing the manufactured car by the perfect adaptation.  The team ranked on the 31st spot worldwide from 82 participating countries, making it the first Egyptian, African and Arab team to reach this rank.

We asked the team about their journey with the competition and their future aspiration and their upcoming projects

Tell us how did you guys start out the project? Where did the idea come from?

The project and the idea started out in 2011 when a group of engineering students at Ain Shams University decided to enter the Formula Student UK (FSUK) competition. The competition aims for educating engineering students extensively, from designing and manufacturing a racing car to performing cost analysis and making business plans to market the car. From there, the team gradually progressed from only designing a racing car to actually manufacturing one since 2012. Aside from FSUK, we have teams that also participate in the Shell Eco Marathon competition, where we design and build an urban electric car, and a fuel-efficient prototype vehicle. We compete in both Class 1 and Class 2 competitions, where we build an Internal Combustion Engine racing car in Class 1 and design an electric car for Class 2. Our activities are backed up with the required guidance from academic instructors, industrial supervision and a pool of dedicated alumni, the young engineers venture to apply what they learned and to engage and interact together in a coherent manner in order to produce a well-integrated racing vehicle.

What are the main hardships you guys have faced while manufacturing your car?

One of the main issues that we face while manufacturing a racing car is the funding. We don’t have enough funding to buy high-end components or use expensive materials. Instead, we have to leverage our current OEM components, trading off between cost and performance. But the limited budget never stood in our way to compete internationally, and we succeeded in topping the MENA region with our knowledge and engineering sense. But in order to move forward from this point, further funding is definitely essential.

How was the experience to represent you country and your faculty in a worldwide competition?

It was an honor to represent Egypt and the faculty internationally in the biggest Formula Student competition in the world. We have watched teams passing by during previous competitions having no clue who we are, and in the next year coming in awe of our achievements and asking for advice. We have seen teams look up to us, reaching out to express their content with what we have achieved. We have seen the competition marshals fascinated the fact that our car managed to finish the 22 km race of the endurance event, after saying that it’ll definitely fail before finishing. We have finished all the static and dynamic events of the competition with a good ranking, and accomplishing that is by far our biggest achievement. This shows you that we’re moving in the right direction, we’re progressively improving and rising to competition, and we will prove to the world that Egyptian engineers can overcome all the obstacles they face here in Egypt, and impress the world with their capabilities.

What’s next for ASU Racing Team?

We are now the first Arab and African university to finish the Endurance event at the competition. Also we are the only Arab and African university to win the first place in one of the competition events, by winning the Cost and Manufacturing event first place. We’re now targeting to produce a fully functioning car. While focusing on boosting the performance of the car, reducing its weight, and making it more energy efficient.  We are also working on improving our performance in other static events at the competition. We now know that we have engineers who are capable of reviving the automotive industry in Egypt.

We’re very excited to see what the future holds for ASU Racing Team!