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Famous face buckles up for a fuel efficient drive

08 May 2013

Rachel Atkinson

Matt Dawson visited UCLan to get hints and tips from motorsport engineering students

One celebrity, one tank of fuel, one car, one goal: to see how far they can travel. This is the challenge Shell put to sportsman Matt Dawson today, 8 May, as they kicked off their national Shell FuelSave Driving Challenge at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

The challenge will see Matt attempt to drive approximately 280 miles from Preston to London on a single tank of Shell FuelSave fuel by driving as fuel efficiently as possible.

This is in the lead-up to the Shell Eco-marathon Europe which a selection of UCLan motorsports engineering students will take part in. The eco-marathon is a Shell initiative that challenges student teams from around the world to design, build and test ultra-energy efficient vehicles.

As preparation for the driving challenge and eco-marathon, Matt visited UCLan to get driving hints and fuel saving tips from the eight first year students.

 

“It’s been great having Matt come down to see what we’ve been working on and now we can’t wait to get it over to race and see how we compare to the others.”

Matt said: “I am really excited to be taking on the Shell FuelSave Driving Challenge and sharing fuel saving tips with UK drivers. The demand for energy is set to increase in the future and by using the right fuel and making simple changes to our driving habits, we can all reduce our fuel consumption and costs. I hope by taking on this challenge I can show UK drivers that it’s easy to save fuel and encourage them to try it for themselves.”

The undergraduates have built their specialist carbon-fibre car using a cement mixer engine and components of a soda stream for the fuel injection system. The aim is for the car to reach 1,000 miles from a gallon of the Shell fuel and reach a top speed of 30 miles an hour.

James Dilkes, Team Manager of the UCLan Eco-Marathon team, said: “This has definitely been a change from the usual petrol head jobs we do which are all about speed and power. This has been about ways to save fuel while maximising efficiency and it’s been great to be a part of.

“It’s been great having Matt come down to see what we’ve been working on and now we can’t wait to get it over to race and see how we compare to the others.”

“The Shell Eco-marathon is a fantastic engineering project for our first and second year undergraduates to really motivate and inspire them in the world of science and technology”

The UCLan students will take part in the European leg in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, from 15-19 May. They will join more than 220 teams from 24 countries.

Tony Broad, Senior Lecturer in Engineering at UCLan, said: “The Shell Eco-marathon is a fantastic engineering project for our first and second year undergraduates to really motivate and inspire them in the world of science and technology, as well as the fact it is an internationally renowned competition. The team is hoping to finish best in class and I’m sure that simply participating will be an incredible engineering experience for them. We’re right behind them.”