Much more than racing a car

The project brings together students with diverse backgrounds to work towards a common goal

Malta does not have much of a Formula One lineage. We do not have our Team Mercedes, Team Williams or any Team Ferrari but we are equally proud of our UoM Racing Team – Malta’s very own ‘scuderia’ that is not just a construction team but one that designs, engineers and builds a fundamentally safe racing car that has participated in Formula ATA for the last two years with competitive results.

The UoM Racing Team was set up two years ago by a group of University students from various academies. The love of cars, engineering and a passion to represent their country and their university abroad, is primarily what brings them together.

The members of UoM racing are a dedicated group. Each student dedicates considerable time towards this project. This averages around 15 hours a week and requires striking a fine balance between their academic studies, extra curriculum activities and hobbies. However the UoM students all look at the project as a very rewarding one. The project brings together students with diverse backgrounds (seven different faculties this year) to work towards a common goal.

UoM racing has, in their own words, provided them with an unforgettable learning experience and with a challenging one. There are many factors that contribute to the success of this project, which include the preparation of a budget with a realistic business plan, a detailed bill of quantities, marketing and most of team building. “The importance of building a team is not just getting work done. This is a way one can trust his/her team members and vice versa. No one is bigger than the team”, said one of the members of the team.

Like in any other project, there are many ups and downs. Invariably all team members of UoM Racing feel that the best moments of this experience are related to the first test of the car on the track. “Seeing the car ready and being driven for the first time is definitely a memorable moment, especially after having seen the car manufactured from scratch in the garage,” commented one of the students but who was reflecting the mood of the entire team. Participation in the competition was also described by these university students as one of the better moments of this experience.

The UoM racing team successfully competed in two consecutive Formula ATA events in Italy. ATA – Associazione Tecnica dell’Automobile, was founded in1948, to increase a technical awareness about the automobile field. The events are part of an engineering design competition organised by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International). Emphasis is placed on vehicle dynamics, which rewards optimal handling with high acceleration. These events help teams and their members interact with industry representatives, some of them from established companies such as Ferrari, FIAT and Audi.

Competing against a vast international field is never easy, especially against those who have far higher resources. My ministry is proud to be one of the major sponsors of the UoM Racing team and we consider this sponsorship as an investment. I hope that major companies will follow suit.