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2019 Shell Eco-Marathon Asia flagged off at Sepang

Tuhin Guha

The Asian edition of the Shell Eco-Marathon for 2019 was flagged off today, April 29, at the Make The Future Live event being held at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.

Over the next few days, 108 teams from 17 countries will participate in five races each. Indonesia has the largest contigent with 26 teams while India is represented by 6. These teams come from engineering and science institutions. The idea being to nurture upcoming talent in this field.

Before the flag-off the teams had to undergo a stringent inspection process were over 200 checks were made to their cars covering everything from the structure to the powertrain. Over 45 teams have cleared this inspection so far. Teams can choose to compete in two categories, Prototype and Urban Concept. Prototypes are highly focused three-wheeled machines designed to run the longest distance possible in the least amount of time. The Urban Concepts are more like what you expect to drive normally and come with four-wheels, upright seats and basic amenities. Each category is further divided into subcategories depending on the fuel used. The options available to competitors are petrol, diesel, ethanol, electric and hydrogen. This year, 53 teams are fielding UrbanConcepts and 55 are fielding Prototypes. Additionally, a few teams will also be a part of the fledgling Shell Eco-marathon UrbanConcept Autonomous Category which the organisers hope will grow to be as popular as the other disciplines.

Each team will compete in five races at this event. They will have to cover four rounds of a short loop around Sepang in a time not more than 25 minutes. The teams that uses the least amount of energy to do this wins. The event will end on Thursday with the Shell Eco-marathon Drivers' World Championship Qualifier. Here, the best UrbanConcept teams will compete head-to-head for a spot in Drivers' World Championship in London in July.

The event was flagged off by Dr. Nagulendran Kangayatkarasu, deputy secretary general for the Malaysian ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) and Iain Lo, chairman of Shell Malaysia.

“This year, Shell Eco-marathon has returned to Malaysia to celebrate a decade of competition between Asian universities. Each year, we see an increase in innovations in vehicle design, in fuel efficiency performance, as well as in participant team spirit. The flag-off that kick-started Shell Eco-marathon Asia today will not just start the competition but also signals the beginning of many journeys of discovery in cleaner energy," said Datuk Iain Lo, Chairman of Shell Malaysia.

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