Motorsport Team Takes Third in Shell Eco-Marathon
The San Antonio College Motorsport Team, a collection of students majoring in science, and engineering fields, received third place honors at the 11
Annual Shell Eco-marathon Americas challenge, an international energy efficiency driving competition. The SAC team won in the Prototype Hydrogen Fuel Cell category.
The Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition, held in Detroit, Mich., drew more than 135 teams from across North and South America. Competitors in the contest were split into two categories:
- Prototype classes - vehicles focusing on emerging technology
- UrbanConcept classes - fuel efficient vehicles meeting needs of today's drivers.
"We competed in the prototype hydrogen fuel cell category as one of six competitors," said SAC student Eben Pfeil, who served as the mechanical lead on the Motorsport Team. "More popular categories such as gasoline and battery-electric consisted of dozens of competitors but the difficulty of operating on hydrogen resulted in only a handful of teams actually competing."
According to Pfeil, the criteria for selecting a winner was based on fuel efficiency, but before any team could compete they had to pass several rigorous technical and safety inspections. The last stage of inspection required a full shakedown of the hydrogen system and all related diagrams.
Once a car passed inspection, drivers would have to go a trial run of 10 laps (six miles) on the official track without the vehicle stalling or crashing. Fuel consumption, the ultimate goal of the competition, was calculated once the car completed the 10 laps.
The SAC Motorsport Team was able to travel 66 miles per cubic meter of hydrogen, similar to going 829. 4 miles per gallon of gasoline.
The team received a $1,500 prize for their finish in the competition.
Part of the Motorsport team heads to the paddock after an inspection.
Left to right: Cesar Ventura, Richard King, and Daniel Martinez. Sohyun "Sally" Kwag is steering the car.
The SAC Motorsport team's official Shell Eco-Marathon team photo.
Photos courtesy of Shell Eco-marathon Americas.