Comedian revs up motorsport students
Alex Brooker learns more about UCLan’s 2016 Shell Eco-Marathon car
A television presenter and comedian has met a group of University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) students who are hoping to drive themselves to victory in an international racing competition.
Alex Brooker, who is one of the co-hosts on Channel 4’s The Last Leg, was in Preston to speak to engineering students about their Shell Eco-marathon energy-efficient car which they will race around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, in London, later this month.
For the first time in its 30-year history, the iconic competition will be in London and, to celebrate, Alex and Countdown’s Rachel Riley are meeting the students who have designed and built the cars.
"These guys from UCLan should be off for the summer, and they’ve stayed to work on the car. I like that dedication."
Alex said: “When I was at university I spent three years getting drunk, and when I met these guys it puts it into context. They are making technology that will go into cars in the future, and learning these incredible skills.
“I went into the car earlier - it’s tight in there. One of the students told me a story about how they once got a bee in it and there’s no windows to let it out - that sounds like a horror film to me.”
He said he was impressed by the technology that had gone into building the car, as well as the time and effort of the students. He said: “These guys from UCLan should be off for the summer, and they’ve stayed to work on the car.
“I like that dedication, it’s something I didn’t have myself, they are passionate about the project and I really admire that. The students are absolutely brilliant.”
Last year the UCLan team travelled to Rotterdam and their fuel efficient car was named the best in the UK as their eco-friendly car managed to produce 1,238 miles per gallon. This smashed their previous records and ensured the team topped the national podium.
"We want to inspire the young engineers of tomorrow to look into what’s one of the biggest challenges of the world - meeting the energy demand, but decarbonise it."
The Shell Eco-marathon Europe challenges students to design and build ultra-energy efficient cars, then drive them on a purpose-built track to see which can travel the furthest on the least amount of fuel.
This year, it will be showcased at Make the Future London, at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from June 30 to July 3.
Norman Koch, technical director of Shell Eco-marathon, said the most successful teams had completed the 10-mile track on just a teaspoon of fuel. He said: “We want to inspire the young engineers of tomorrow to look into what’s one of the biggest challenges of the world - meeting the energy demand, but decarbonise it.”
Dan Heywood, 23, has completed his motorsports engineering degree, and has offered advice to the students taking part. He said: “I think they are going to do well this year.”
View photos from the visit on UCLan's Flickr Gallery.