Rotterdam 2015

The track competition is under way at the Shell Eco-marathon Europe, the 30th anniversary event of the ultimate energy-efficiency driving challenge. Shell CEO Ben van Beurden flagged the teams off at the start of two days of driving challenges, the last to be held in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The competition’s new location is official: London will host Shell Eco-marathon Europe in 2016.

As the 3pm opening ceremony came to a close, 164 cars had made it through technical inspection, leaving 23 still trying as team Marci from André Citroën school in France went on track with their Prototype diesel, the first to compete. They were closely followed by the Prototype gasoline Iron Warriors from Poland and ECO-DIMONI from Spain with their Prototype battery electric car.

All qualifying teams now have four attempts to pull off their best fuel-efficient driving performance. They need to complete 10 laps of the circuit for an attempt to be valid.

Impatient for action

Already at 6am, Belgian team EcoMOTION and their ethanol-powered Prototype car – fifth in their category last year with 1060km/l equivalent – stood at the front of the queue for the track. Three hours passed until it opened for final practice laps, on schedule.

“Soon ready to start the engine,” read the upbeat tweet from DTU Roadrunners, whose UrbanConcept ethanol car caught fire a day before. The 2014 category-winners had spent hours rewiring their car. Can they save the day and win again?