NTU team falls just short in Asian leg of eco-marathon

Mechanical engineering student and team driver Chan Jin Hao bowing out of the race, just 200m from the finishing line, after the fuel supply ran out and the team's Nanyang Venture 8 stalled.
Mechanical engineering student and team driver Chan Jin Hao bowing out of the race, just 200m from the finishing line, after the fuel supply ran out and the team's Nanyang Venture 8 stalled.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

A leading start for a Singapore racing team ended in heartbreak yesterday for the group of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) students.

Their car ran out of fuel just some 200m from the finishing line at the Shell Eco-Marathon Drivers' World Championship Asia.

But they are determined to give it another shot next year.

"Sure, we can learn from winning, but we learn more from failure. We will learn from our mistakes and fight back," said mechanical engineering undergraduate Chan Jin Hao, 21, who was the driver of the NTU car.

Mr Chan and seven other NTU students were among eight regional teams from various universities in the race.

Fuel-efficient cars, which were built by the students, were given limited fuel to clear four laps.

WE'LL BE BACK

Sure, we can learn from winning, but we learn more from failure. We will learn from our mistakes and fight back. 

MR CHAN JIN HAO, who was driving the NTU car, Nanyang Venture 8.

The NTU students were the only Singapore team in the race.

They were hoping to finish in the top three in the Asian leg to qualify for the grand final, which will be held in London in May.

There, nine teams from around the world will field fuel-efficient cars and vie for the chance to be mentored by test drivers from Scuderia Ferrari - the racing division of luxury Italian automaker Ferrari.

Having qualified in second place for the race, which was held at the Changi Exhibition Centre, the NTU team behind Nanyang Venture 8 - an electric car with a 3D-printed body shell that can reach 60kmh - was hopeful.

But while Mr Chan sped off to lead the pack, the fuel supply depleted too fast and it stalled before it could finish.

Eventually, a team from the Philippines took first place, with teams from Indonesia finishing second and third. All three teams will head to London.

The race was part of the inaugural Make the Future Singapore festival, which taught visitors about different forms of energy and how they are generated, as well as new technology that will help the world produce more and cleaner energy.

Yesterday marked the end of the four-day festival, which drew 22,000 people.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 20, 2017, with the headline 'NTU team falls just short in Asian leg of eco-marathon'. Print Edition | Subscribe