Saint Thomas Academy from Minnesota has been crowned one of the regional winners of the Drivers’ World Championship at Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2018.
The high school team from St. Paul, the capital of Minnesota, crossed the finish line first. The team will now travel to London to compete in the Shell Eco-marathon Drivers' World Championship Grand Final, held at Make the Future Live at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Three other cars were left to battle it out for the two remaining places. Second place went to a Canadian team from Saskatchewan Polytechnic.
In the race’s final lap, the internal combustion engine car from Evansville’s Mater Dei High School in Indiana made a furious charge from the back of the pack. It earned the team the third and final ticket to London.
“We added some extra burn on the first lap, and then the rest of the race, we just played off the other racers,” said Evansville driver Noah Blankenberger. “We knew how much fuel we had, and we stayed close enough to make a run at the end – but it was a nail-biter.”
They were among 98 teams from across the Americas that competed in Shell Eco-marathon Americas, which challenges students to compete with energy-efficient vehicles that they have designed and built.
Under perfect blue skies and sunshine, more than a thousand students gathered at Sonoma Raceway in California for the event which took place from April 19 to 22.
In 2018, each major Shell Eco-marathon competition culminates in the Drivers’ World Championship race, which awards the fastest and most energy-efficient vehicles.