University of Derby students building car to race in Shell Eco-Marathon Europe
A TEAM of university students are putting their engineering knowledge to the test by building an eco-car to race in the Netherlands.
The brainbox team are taking part in the Shell Eco-Marathon Europe – a four-day event which sees 200 student teams build a car to race around a track.
Lee Clough and Kresna Wirawan are two of the members of the team, from the University of Derby mechanical engineering department.
Lee, 18, said: "We were excited by the idea of putting all our skills to the test and building the car from scratch.
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"There are only eight other UK universities competing and nobody else from around here so we're flying the flag for Derby and the university."
The car, which will be just big enough to house a driver, has been designed using computer-generated images and now the team have to start building it.
They are on the lookout for a space to do this.
Kresna, 21, is a third-year mechanical engineering student, who came from Indonesia to study here.
He said: "We know exactly what the car is going to look like, we've got the design perfect, keeping everything quite simple. We've all worked together on the design and will work together on making it but we all have our own strengths within the team."
The eco-car is going to be run on battery power, charged up through mains electricity.
"Everything must be kept environmentally friendly, that's the point, they must be eco-cars," Kresna added.
"The design is very smooth and streamlined, keeping it able to fly through the air really fast, faster than everyone else.
"There's a team of us involved with the whole process to help with building but five of us will take the car out there."
Kresna will be driving the car – which will carry the Derby Telegraph logo – on the track.
The race is ten laps around a road in Rotterdam, which has been closed off for the event.
The car must cover 10.1 miles, with each lap having five 90-degree turns.
There is no winner as such, just the kudos of completing the distance in the most eco-friendly way.
Kresna said: "I can drive but I've never done anything like it before.
"It'll take a very different way of driving to be able to get the car all the way around for the full ten laps."
Braking, accelerating and cornering skills will play a crucial part in reducing energy use.
Lee said: "We are worried about the driving on track but I think we're up to it.
"It will test us – as will the whole process – but we can't wait to get the car finished and get it on the track to see it in action."