A team of 25-odd students of RV College of Engineering (RVCE) in Bangalore are building Formula-style race cars.
The team is now building a new car, the RZ06, that will race in a worldwide event to be held in Germany's Hockenheim Ring in August. Formula diehards say that is where the German leg of the Formula 1 Grand Prix is held.
"The new car can reach 0-100 km in 6 seconds, and they need to test it on a suitable track," says Arun Raj, a team member. Infotech companies like Sun Microsystems are sponsoring the project. "This is our way of supporting innovation," says Unnikrishnan, director (strategic alliance), Sun Microsystems.
The car, which is expected to cost around Rs 23 lakh, will race in Germany, and this time it will be a test of speed and handling. A test in Australia last year was about cost and efficiency.
The cars are more about meeting a challenge for most of these college-goers. "I have come to love designing, and hopefully I will get a job that will help me continue this," says Harini Ranga, the only girl in the team. She is on the team responsible for designing and making the steering section of the new car. The 21-year-old, who got her license right after her eighteenth birthday, is also one of the five drivers of the team that tested the car in Australia. They won the event.
Ashwa Racing, the name of the project, is being managed by 16 students from the mechanical engineering department of RVCE. And they have already formed a corporate structure.
"We have separate teams looking after different parts of the car. There is a drive-train team, an administration team, a team looking after finance and there is a team that talks to the media," says Raj, who leads the group.
"After we reviewed their work, we have been partnering them by giving them our software free and also by training their team on a continuous basis," says PM Ravikumar, education manager (India and SAARC), SolidWorks Corporation.
SolidWorks provides its COSMOS software for working on the designs of Formula-style racing cars all over the world.
The story of entrepreneurship started three years back, when a few students of the college got an idea of participating in the Annual Formula SAE competition.