University students crowdfund racing car for international competition

University of Malta Racing (UoMR) raises funds through local platform ZAAR.com.mt to design, build and race a Formula-style car in an international competition 

Staff Reporter
22 August 2016, 4:36pm
Students in the University of Malta Racing (UoMR) group have managed to achieve and surpass their €5,000 goal through a crowdfunding campaign held on local ZAAR.com.mt platform.

A press release by the platform adds that the young team of enthusiasts can now complete the design and build of a lighter, faster and stronger car than the ones they’ve previously competed with in the worldwide Formula SAE competition.

“This time around the car will be built over two years instead of one, in the hope of improving the vehicle even further but also because we’re aiming to compete in two different countries,” UoMR business team leader Matthew Buhagiar said.

The competition, which is held over the summer season when universities are on recess, will kick off in the US and then moves on to eight other stops in Europe before travelling to Asia and Australia.

“We’re quite a small team compared to the others out there and, until now, we’ve only competed in our neighbouring country’s competition in Italy,” Buhagiar said, adding however that since funds had been secured, the team looked forward to completing a new vehicle by the end of the summer.

The UoMR crowdfunding campaign on ZAAR was launched in April with an event at the students’ workshop garage at the University, during which they also announced that the Ministry of Education would be sponsoring the team for the third-time running. The launch included an exhibition of the three cars that the team had built so far, but also showcased the process of building a formula-style vehicle through various designs and parts.

The Formula SAE competition is organised by the Society of Automotive Engineers, which is the highest authority in automotive engineering worldwide, and participation gives these students priceless exposure – not only to huge companies in the automotive industry like Dallara, Lamborghini, Ferrari and BMW, but through networking opportunities and establishing contacts, both with these companies and with other more experienced teams. 

Commenting about yet another successful campaign on Zaar.com.mt, ZAAR Manager Matthew Caruana said that they are enthusiastic about supporting great initiatives like the UoMR’s campaign.

“Our platform puts its expertise at the campaigns’ disposal, offering not only promotion through our social media channels, but also through our contacts with the Malta Business Bureau and local businesses,” Caruana said.

The Formula car project was made possible through the University of Malta and its Research Trust (RIDT), the team’s University Advisor, Maurizio Fenech, as well as many staff members.

The team’s main sponsors include The Ministry for Education and Employment, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, Enemed, Tek-Moulds Precision Engineering, PwC Malta, Adpro-Instruments Ltd, Continental Cars Ltd, RS Components, Würth Malta, Talocan Ltd and QFree Traffiko.