Sunday,23 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1268, (29 October - 4 November 2015)
Sunday,23 September, 2018
Issue 1268, (29 October - 4 November 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Egypt wins ‘Formula One’ event

The Most Challenging Team Global Award has been won by a group of Egyptian students, writes Angy Essam

Al-Ahram Weekly

Members of the Cairo University Engineering Faculty team have won the Most Challenging Team Global Award at a prestigious international competition for Formula One cars in Germany. The team won the award for its Formula One racing car, designed and built from scratch, beating teams from around the world.

“Our team consists of 22 members and is divided into two sections: the technical section responsible for designing and manufacturing the car, and the managerial section responsible for human resources and fundraising issues,” said Ahmed Rezq, 23, the team’s technical director.

One of the team’s members is 22-year-old Rezk Mohamed Abu-Fadl. He explained said the competition was organised by the Society of Automotive Engineering, a major organisation in the car industry. The competition is held in several countries around the world, one of them being Germany.

“The slogan of the competition is ‘Design It, Build It, Race It,’ so our main target was to design a racing car that had the profile of a Formula One racing car,” Abul-Fadl said.

He said that although Germany is one of the toughest countries to compete in, the team chose it because the teams there had been participating for more than ten years and so the Egyptian team would gain tremendous experience from competing against them.

“Our team is the first team from Cairo University to enter the Formula Student event, the largest motorsport event in the world for students,” added team member Mostafa Fikry.

The team’s winning Formula One car was financed by Ghabour Auto, the Lyony Company, the Kader Factory, affiliated to the Arab Authority for Manufacturing, the German University in Cairo (GUC), which allowed the team to use its workshops to manufacture the car, and Cairo University, which covered the team’s costs of travelling to Germany to take part in the competition.

Abu-Fadl explained that all but one of the team members are currently enrolled at Cairo University in the Faculty of Engineering.

The exception is a student at the Faculty of Commerce, who is responsible for the car’s business plan. “We all worked in complete harmony, each one of us knowing his exact role and performing it optimally. This was the secret of our success,” he said.

Rezq also said that they had decided to participate in the competition in September 2014 and submitted their application in January 2015, registering for the pre-tests of the competition and passing all of them.

“We started manufacturing the car in February 2015. The manufacturing operation took four months,” he said, adding that they sent the car to Germany in July, where it arrived just one day before the competition started.

“It was an extremely tough competition. The other participating teams presented magnificent cars, but ours was the best. The moment the judging committee announced that we had won was unforgettable,” Fikry said.

“Our winning car consists of a main system and a group of subsystems,” Rezq said, explaining that they had to be careful to ensure that the car complied with competition instructions.

“Our car could be described as a small Formula One racing car for only one passenger that was evaluated in two stages, static and dynamic. The dynamic stage is related to the car’s speed, stability and capability and, according to these criteria, our car was the best.”

The award is just a start, he said, adding that the next step is to participate in the Formula Student Competition in London in 2016.

“Our target in participating is not only to win another award. We want to prove to ourselves that our Formula car for 2016 will be better than our Formula car for 2015,” he said.

Rezq said that the team wants to see how they have benefitted from the remarks made about its first car in Germany. The idea is for the two cars to be compared, showing the superiority of the 2016 car. As most of the team members will leave the team after graduation, Rezq intends to build a strong team that will host creative engineering students over the coming years.

“Team members come and go. What is truly vital is team work and achievements that last forever,” he said.

The writer is a freelance journalist.

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