The St John’s College Eco-Marathon Club, including LIV students Kyle Kruger (Alston), Max Day (Thomson), Tendo Ligudu (Nash), Thomas Granig (Alston) and Charles Robertson (Thomson) with David Green (UIV, Clayton) at the wheel, participated in their first ever Shell Eco-Challenge Marathon South Africa at Zwartkops Raceway from the 25th to 28th of October. The Shell Eco-Challenge encourages participants to build a fuel-efficient vehicle that can cover the greatest distance using the least amount of energy.
Each team is allowed five attempts and a joulemeter records the energy consumption for the four laps of the circuit which must be completed in under 25 minutes. A calculation is then used to extrapolate the data to give how many kilometres would have been covered using one kilowatt of electrical energy.
“Spirits were low on Thursday and Friday spirits as our vehicle repeatedly failed scrutineering because of a faulty brake. Saturday saw frantic work being done on the car along with all sorts of innovative ideas as we tried to get the vehicle through the braking test. Finally, after exhaustive visits to the technical inspection area, the St John’s College car received the licence disc for the 2018 race,” said Mr Deryck Armour, St John’s College Science Department.
Unfortunately, there was no time for any practice laps and early Sunday morning David Green took her out for the first official attempt where a 183,5 km/kW was recorded on the first spin which was bettered on each subsequent run.
A neck and neck tussle ensued between St John’s College and the University of Namibia for second place, with positions changing after each attempt. Eventually the University of Namibia pipped the College by 900 metres to take second place with an energy efficiency of 217,4 km/kW. It was however encouraging to note that our St John’s College team placed ahead of four University of Johannesburg teams and Curro School Krugersdorp with a best score of 216.5km/KW. This is an excellent achievement for the Eco-Marathon Club’s first attempt.