Mean green machine revs up for eco race

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A TEAM of students are revving up to race in Rotterdam – with their own super-green car.

The group of 11 engineering buffs from the University of Central Lancashire headed off to the Shell Eco-marathon competition in the Dutch city this week and will take part in the final event today to compete for Europe’s leading fuel-efficiency prize.

Since September, Dan Heywood, 21, Andy Chappell, 20, Ryan Stockwell, 21, Rob Squires, 23, and James Dilkes, 21, alongside their fellow students, have been building the vehicle under the guidance and tuition of senior engineering lecturer Tony Broad and now they will take on 200 universities from across Europe.

Speaking ahead of setting off for the big event, Tony said: “last year we achieved 1,300 miles per gallon with the car we built, but this year we’re looking to get up to 2,500mpg and hopefully achieve a place in the top 10 of the competition, at least.

“Everything has been designed and manufactured in-house by the first and second year students.”

Around 3,000 students from Europe will take part in the 29th annual competition and the UCLan team will be competing against the finest universities in Europe. Among them are 
Microjoule from France, who have been competing since 1999 and have broken three world records for the most efficient gasoline powered vehicle.

Assistant team manager Andy Chappell said: “This car is a better shape, has better components, so we should be in with a good chance.

“A few of us were involved last year but we’ll be too busy with our third year next year, so it’s up to the first years to keep 

James Dilkes, one of two drivers tasked with manouevering the car around the 10-mile track that includes 90 degree turns, said: “Our main aim has been to reduce the role of resistance.

“This car is a more aerodynamic shape and the bigger wheels will help us as well with inertia, and we have a different mapping of the engine.

“I’m not really nervous about driving, as long as the guys sort the steering and the brakes I’m happy. It’s just the stopping that’s the problem at the minute!”




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