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Motorsports enthusiasts are gearing up for the race track

13 May 2015

Rachel Atkinson

UCLan students are competing in fuel efficient marathon competition in Rotterdam next weekend  

University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) motorsport enthusiasts are gearing up to take to the track in a European fuel efficient car competition.

Five motorsport engineering students are travelling to Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, to compete in the Shell Eco-marathon next weekend, 21 to 24 May.

The team has been building, developing and testing their eco-friendly mono-cocque chassis creation since September. The second year students, who are among a handful of UK representatives, will race against more than 200 teams from over 30 countries.

The second year students, who are among a handful of UK representatives, will race against more than 200 teams from over 30 countries.

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. On reflection of those times we’ve been able to significantly lower the rolling resistance and experiment on other vital vehicle set up systems such as gearing. These have all made minor tweaks which means we’re in good shape.”

The 20-year-old, from Nottinghamshire, added: “Last year’s UCLan team achieved 1,308 miles per gallon but we’re hoping to achieve 2,000 miles per gallon. It’s a big number but it’s possible.”

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 use.

“Last year’s UCLan team achieved 1,308 miles per gallon but we’re hoping to achieve 2,000 miles per gallon. It’s a big number but it’s possible.”

The other team members, Joe Wackrill and Danny Potter, will all be on hand to make further tweaks to major set areas such as engine mapping and steering adjustments. Lecturer Tony Broad has served as a mentor for the team, offering advice and steering them in the right direction throughout the car's development.

Last year the event attracted more than 40,000 visitors. Every year industry-leading new designs and technologies are showcased at the event and this year will be no exception. Visitors will be treated to the unveiling of the first 100 per cent recyclable car, as well as the first European entirely modular car.

You can keep up-to-date the with team’s progress via their Facebook page.