Firstly, we set up our tents – just in time as it started to rain! Then happily we went to set up the pits.
There were many different universities and organisations there and we were by far the youngest team! The aim of the challenge was to create an eco-friendly car that used as little fuel as possible (which we have to say is not easy) and get round the seven full laps in under 37 minutes – if they were one second over the lap wouldn’t be counted.
Our car is made of a carbon fibre body with polycarbonate plastic windows. It’s light weight at 40kg, but also extremely fragile so we were always careful not to stand on the edges; breaking the carbon fibre shell would be a complete disaster.
Before we raced we had to go through a strict set of important safety tests called ‘scrutineering’, this involved lifting the whole car up (including the driver) just by the seatbelt and seeing if it could turn a harsh corner but the test we had to do before every official run was test the brakes up a steep slope.
On the second day, we had our practice runs with each driver during the morning. After a lunch of pot noodles we went back to start our races.
Firstly, we sent out Josie Frere but sadly our run was disqualified for going over 37 minutes in our 7 laps. Secondly, we sent out Henry Spooner who raced the car and got in 2 minutes before the deadline of 37 minutes.
Wednesday (the last day) we had three more runs, amazingly we qualified with all three. Disappointingly, our runs were unofficial as our drivers were underweight but it was still amazingly fun practice for the Shell Eco Marathon. Josie Frere came in 2 seconds under the time limit and Henry Spooner achieved 2470 mile per gallon. (Most cars now get around 50 miles per gallon).
Millicent Lord (8JBd)