A team of motorsport students from Preston are set to take on the world of racing.
The second years from the University of Central Lancashire won’t be heading to the Grand Prix circuit but they are hoping to set new records on a very different track.
Motorsports engineering students are travelling to Rotterdam at the weekend to take part in the Shell Eco Marathon, where 3,000 university students from the UK and Europe compete to build, develop and run the most fuel efficient car.
Under the guidance of lecturer Tony Broad, the five students have been working since September building, developing and testing their eco-friendly monocoque chassis creation, which is a souped-up version of the car developed for last year’s competition, and are hoping to achieve 2,000 miles per gallon.
Team leader Adam Ludgate said: “It’s very nerve-wracking but we’re all really excited. We’ve spent a lot of time testing the car at our test track, which is the cycle track at UCLan’s Sports Arena.
“We’ve been able to significantly lower the rolling resistance and experiment on other vital vehicle set-up systems, such as gearing.
It’s very nerve-wracking but we’re all really excited. We’ve spent a lot of time testing the car at our test track, which is the cycle track at UCLan’s Sports Arena.Adam Ludgate
“These minor tweaks mean we’re in good shape.”
The idea of the challenge is to get students developing ground-breaking car designs using the very latest technologies, such as 3-D printing.
Every year, industry-leading new designs and technologies are showcased at the event.
Tony has offered advice and steered the team in the right direction throughout the car’s development.
During the race weekend, Shannon Hill and Dom Strange will race the car five times over 20 laps of the circuit.
The most fuel-efficient result will be used to calculate the vehicle’s miles per gallon figure.
The other team members, Joe Wackrill and Danny Potter, will be on hand to make further tweaks to major set areas, such as engine mapping and steering adjustments.
UCLan will be competing against the finest universities in Europe.
Among them is Microjoule, from France, who have been competing since 1999 and have broken three world records for the most efficient gasoline-powered vehicle. What began in 1985 with 25 wooden vehicles competing at a low-key event in France is now arguably the largest and most innovative competition of its kind, and visitors will be treated to the unveiling of the first 100 per cent recyclable car, as well as the first European entirely modular car.