Day 4: March 1st, 2015

Thailand has emerged overall victor for the second year running at the Shell Eco-marathon Asia event in Manila, Philippines – an event that saw five new records set.

Thai team Virgin from Sakonnakhon Technical College, with their car Thao Pha Dang Nang Ai, drove the equivalent of 1,572 km/l in the Prototype alternative fuel category to take the top prize. Imagine the distance between Manila and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.

This year’s victors won in the Prototype gasoline category last year with 1,796 km/l. In 2015, they decided to switch to ethanol for a new challenge built a new vehicle with a carbon fibre body to keep it lighter.

Driver Boonlam Phomkam is thrilled. “It is hard to win, but even tougher to hang on to the championship,” he said.  

Victory clean and simple

Clean Diesel Team from Hyogo Prefectural Tajima Technical Institute, Japan’s only entrant, clinched first place in the Prototype diesel category with a new record mileage of 1,245 km/l, more than double last year’s winning score. They also won the  off-track award  for vehicle design.

"This car was made in 2004, and every year we keep making small improvements to get better mileage,” said team advisor Toshinari Fujii. A small team with just three members and one supporting member, they practice 2-3 hours each weekday and 8 hours on weekends.

Team ATE.1 from Kong Thabbok Upatham Changkol Kho So Tho Bo School in Thailand drove their Prototype gasoline car the equivalent of 1,490 km/l, winning their category, but they were not able to match last year’s 1,796 km/l performance by team Virgin.

Team advisor Bunma Nawathong said, “Their body was made of fibre. Ours is aluminium and heavier, but we will try to make changes for next year."

Urban track stars

Also doubling last year’s result was ITS Team 2 from Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember Indonesia, who recorded 153 km/l in the UrbanConcept diesel category.

Other teams achieving new mileage records include Team LH – Gold Energy of Lac Hong University, Vietnam who won the UrbanConcept alternative fuel category with 164 km/l on ethanol, and Prototype battery electric champion Team NSTRU Eco-Racing from Nakhon Si Thammarat Rajabhat University Thailand with a mileage of 451 km/kWh. Team UiTM Eco-Sprint from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam Malaysia is champion in the Prototype Hydrogen Fuel Cell category again with their 315 km/m3 equivalent record.

"We are very happy to be the first Vietnamese team ever to win at a Shell Eco-marathon Asia event,” said Le Phuong Long, LH – Gold Energy team leader.