There was no finish line or time-limit. It was a unique race that saw 94 teams, including nine from Pakistan, compete at the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur, the second day of the Shell Eco-marathon.
Not only was it Pakistan’s first taste of the event, but also with a team qualifying for the flagoff ceremony – in second place – with a female driver at the wheel.
The idea is simple: go furthest on a litre of fuel. However, the challenges of designing such a vehicle isn’t.
While the rest of the world races with V-8’s and turbo-charged engines, teams at the Asia’s second Shell Eco-marathon set out to ease the carbon footprint.
Out of 20 Pakistan teams, only nine were able to participate and transport their vehicles to Kuala Lumpur.
Seven teams relied on conventional fuels to power their engines, while two used alternative energy sources, namely battery power and ethanol.
In 2010 a team from France broke the Eco-marathon world record by driving the equivalent of over 4,000 kilometres on a litre of fuel.
At the event
It was a heart-throbbing event after all the Pakistan teams spent millions on their car without any technical support.
A five-member team from University of Engineering and Textile Taxila, named Pak Pacers and led by Tayyaba Zahid, 22, have made their mark by becoming the first Pakistani team to clear all the technical and fuel safety tests and earn a place at the flagoff ceremony.
Javeria Hashmi drove the car named Knight Rider. “We did everything on our own such as designing the body, installation of engine,” Hashmi told The Express Tribune. “And we did it by attending various workshops on mechanical engineering.
“It cost more than Rs0.2 million to build the car and Rs 1.4 million for the shipment,” she said.
Imtiaz Ahmad, leading a team of eight members from GIK, said they had spent more than Rs1.2 million on building the car and they managed all this money on their own.
The result announcement is set for today with the Pakistan youth all geared up, proudly displaying their cars and flags.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2011.