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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

Southampton student to take part in eco-challenge to drive the length of Britain

Published: 14 June 2013
Lewis Morgan

Lewis Morgan, an Engineering Science student from the University of Southampton, is taking part in a non-stop driving challenge across the length of Britain, in a bid to be crowned the nation’s most economical drivers.

Teams from universities across England, Scotland and Wales will compete in the 1,701 mile Formula Student Diesel Eco Driving Challenge.

The inaugural three-day competition, which starts on Tuesday 18 June, will go via 46 universities and is being jointly run by Formula Student and Bosch.

Each team will drive a section of the route, while having their eco-driving ability measured by on-board computers, before passing the vehicle on to the next university.

Patrick Kniveton, President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, which runs Formula Student, will flag off the event at the Institution's Westminster headquarters at 11am. The route then heads south along the coast before heading west to Swansea.

It then zigzags across England and Scotland towards the final destination of Aberdeen University on Thursday 21 June.

Lewis, who will be driving the longest stretch of the route on Tuesday 18 June between Southampton and Exeter - 112 miles, says: "We've been researching the best way of driving economically. It means no heavy braking and careful acceleration. We will be practising ahead of the day of the challenge."

The University of Southampton team will set off from the University's Highfield Campus at 11.30pm.

Teams will be driving a Ford Fiesta, powered by a 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine, which uses Bosch common rail diesel injectors and a high-pressure Bosch fuel pump. Monitoring equipment will analyse the efficiency of each team's driving, with three awards up for grabs, which cover city, rural and highway driving.

The students, including three from Wales and five from Scotland, will be joined in the vehicle by an AA representative, who will help with the route and economical driving tips.

Students taking part are all involved with Formula Student 2013, taking place at Silverstone from 4-7 July. The event challenges universities from across the world to design, build and race a single seat racing car from scratch in one year, before putting it to the test at one of the world's greatest racetracks.

Jon Hilton, Chairman of Formula Student, says: "This is a fantastic challenge which will certainly prepare all the students for July's competition.

"It's the first time we've attempted a driving challenge of this scale and I wish all the teams the best of luck."

Distances between universities will range from three miles to over 100 miles, but each team will be monitored equally. Prizes will be awarded at the Formula Student competition at Silverstone.

Peter Fouquet, president of Bosch UK, says: "With the help of Bosch technologies, the vehicle being used for the Formula Student Diesel Eco Driving Challenge achieves CO2 emissions of just 98g/km. In the near future, Bosch sees the potential across all vehicle segments for even greater CO2 emissions reductions - of up to 20 per cent in some cases."

During the Formula Student Diesel Eco Driving Challenge, drivers will use the Bosch Car Multimedia division's satellite navigation app, as well as a data logger from Bosch's subsidiary, ETAS. Shell is generously supplying FuelSave diesel for this Challenge.

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