UCLan motorsport enthusiasts top UK podium

01 June 2015

Rachel Atkinson

Student success at fuel efficient marathon competition in Rotterdam last weekend.

Motorsport engineering students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) are celebrating after their fuel efficient car was named the best in the United Kingdom.

The five enthusiasts competed in the Shell Eco-marathon, held in Rotterdam last weekend, and their eco-friendly car managed to produce 1,280 miles per gallon. This smashed last year’s UCLan record and ensured the team topped the UK podium.

Adam Ludgate, Team Leader, said: “It was the hardest week of my life but also the best. It was really amazing and worth all the hours we spent in the paddock. We only got five hours sleep every night but I’m delighted with our performance considering we had some extreme highs and lows.”

The team was asked, by a Shell research engineer, to trial a fuel flow sensor on their car. Unfortunately it developed a leak which compromised the performance of the 50cc machine during their first two competitive qualifying sessions.

“It was the hardest week of my life but also the best. It was really amazing and worth all the hours we spent in the paddock.”

“It was great we were the team which was approached by Shell but when it blew up and was spilling fuel all over the place then we knew it had to go,” said Adam. “Thankfully the organisers understood it wasn’t our fault so we were able to get back out on the track for another two runs.”

The team, which consists of second year undergraduates Shannon Hill, Dom Strange, Joe Wackrill and Danny Potter, has been building, developing and testing their eco-friendly mono-cocque chassis creation since September. They raced against more than 200 teams from over 30 countries.

The crew is now back in the workshop working on minor modifications before the next event, on 20 June at Rockingham Racecourse, where they will attempt to reach their 2,000 miles per gallon target. 

On the back of their performance in Rotterdam the quintet and their lecturer Tony Broad have been invited to take the car to Shell’s Eco-marathon exhibit at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed at the end of June.