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PHL engineering students race for international honors in Drivers’ Word Championship

Blessing the MK111.

Engineering students from De La Salle University are slated to vie for the top prize in the Shell Eco Marathon Drivers’ World Championship Grand Finals (DWC) in London, United Kingdom, this May 28.

The only Philippine team in the upcoming competition, De La Salle University Eco Car Team (DLSU-ECT), is no stranger to the international circuit. Last year,

the students qualified for the London race by taking home the top prize for the Urban Concept - Battery Electric category of the Shell Eco Marathon- Asia. They were also able to nab the 1st runner up honors for the Urban Concept – Gasoline category.

DLSU ETC has a long history of excelling in the Shell-organized competitions. It received the Technical Innovation Award in 2012 and the Communication Award in 2013. In 2014, the team finished 2nd in the Urban Concept Battery--Electric Category and bagged the Perseverance and Spirit of the Event Award. 2015 was also a good year for DLSU ECT as it placed 1st in the Gasoline Urban Concept Category of the competition.

Karlos Castillo, DLSU-ECT’s head of electrical, shares how being able to participate in DWC is a meaningful experience for himself and the team. “I am excited that something that was made with my own hands or more importantly, something made by Lasallians and Filipinos will compete with cars built in Europe and the United States--- places that are perceived to be far more technologically advanced than we are. While I hope that the team would bring home the bacon, I would like its members to learn more from the foreign teams not just in terms of technology but also in their group dynamics. This experience would be very beneficial for DLSU-ECT to improve further in not only building more efficient cars but also in building camaraderie among the members.”

DWC is an extraordinary race as it not only takes into account the speed of the cars but also the amount of fuel spent to complete the required laps. Each of the cars will need to set efficiency records. This, then, will determine the amount of fuel the car will receive for the race.

This handicap makes the race more interesting as driving strategy would now greatly affect the performance of the car on the track. The driver will have to be skilled enough to maximize the speed of the car while minimizing its fuel consumption.

DWC has qualifying races in different regions. The main competition will showcase the best of the best from Asia, Americas, and Europe.

Aside from the Philippines’ DLSU-ECT, the other Asian teams are from Indonesia’s Begawan Team 2 from Sebelas Maret University and ITS Team 2 from Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember. The American teams are Experimental Vehicle Team Alpha from Saint Thomas Academy, Knights 3 from the Alden-Conger High School, and Newburgh Goldbacks from Newburgh Free Academy.

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