Thais just too strong in Shell Eco-marathon

By Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 10 2014 06:03 PM | Updated as of Feb 11 2014 02:03 AM

MANILA, Philippines -Unless some other team comes up with its own secret formula, this one from Thailand will run away with the coveted title in the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2014.

After five runs at the 11.69 km track around the historic Luneta Park, the Thai entry, How Much Ethanol, looks unbeatable with its distance of 2730.82 kms on one liter of fuel.

“We’re very happy. We look very good with the result,” said Chumphol Sitthiros, who heads the technical support team of the pacesetting entry from Thailand.

They did 1041 kms on the first run, 900 on the second, 3000 on the third, which was eventually nullified. But they saved their best for last. They had 2076 on the fourth. Another entry from Thailand, Luk Jao Mae Khlong Prapa, thought it had the Prototype crown in the bag with its top distance of 2211.28 kms on its fifth and last run.

One of its team members was already talking of victory when there was big howl coming from the next Thai cubicle inside the air-conditioned paddock for all 105 entries.

How Much Ethanol just logged in the winning distance.

The final results have yet to be formally announced although no team seems capable of catching up with the dreaded teams from Thailand, perennial winners in Asia.

Rakata of Indonesia was a very far third with 212.42 kms in the Prototype ethanol class. Other results were still being tabulated as of presstime.

The Shell Eco-Marathon, which is being held in the Philippines for the first time, aims to produce the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the prototype and urban concept categories.

Each entry is given five attempts before the results are calculated and their maximum attainable distance is determined.

A total of 105 school entries from 15 countries vied in this year’s edition, including 15 teams from the Philippines, composed of the brightest and most innovative mechanical engineering students.

There are different categories among the Prototype and Urban Concept entries, and a couple of local entries are in for a top 10 finish in the Prototype gasoline.

The entry from Santo Tomas, UST Eco-Tigers 1, is in fifth place with 172.27 kms while the Mapua bet, Aguila, is in sixth with 158.56 kms on a liter of fuel.

As expected, Thai entries are also on top of the gasoline category with Virgin doing 1796.03 kms and ATE.1 logging 1078.06.

Zeal Eco-Power Gasoline from the Tongji University in China is in third at 864.24 kms followed by Nakoela of Indonesia at 342.48 kms.