After four years of vigorous attempt, the Philippines got back on track at the Shell Eco-marathon Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, courtesy of University of Perpetual Help System Dalta’s ALTAS Valor who was among the two student teams who represented the country in the annual competition.
Beating the deadline last July 7, UPHSD’s ALTAS Valor was able to pass the detailed technical inspection to allow them to hit the track last July 8. This was after several attempts at passing the inspections and with the help and support of participants from other countries.
This year, 76 teams from 13 countries joined Shell Eco-marathon Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
“It is extremely impressive to see the high standard of performance and the innovative ideas that these young minds come up with. Despite encountering numerous challenges throughout the competition, they persevered and achieved exceptional results in designing energy-efficient vehicles,” Norman Koch, Global General Manager of Shell Eco-marathon said.
As Shell Eco-marathon aims to promote safe and sustainable mobility, all vehicles go through several stages of inspection. Race Director, Pepon Marave says, “This is all about passing the checkpoints. You only do that if you have a thorough and deep understanding of the rules and you can implement the rules properly.”
Although missing the chance to hit the track this year, due to some technical aspects that still needed further attention, PUP Hygears is already set on making a comeback next year. This is Team Manager, Nicole Rose Tugay’s last year in the Shell Eco-marathon, but despite this, she aims to stay committed to the team, “I will make sure that I will reach out to them and help in whatever way I can. Especially because I have seen how this competition can help us understand the importance of the innovation and collaboration.”
Racing Against Time
Since the arrival of their vehicle last July 4, ALTAS Valor started working on fixing the issues they discovered. The five-man team of Mechanical Engineering students that includes Jacob Moises Torres, Emelito Jr. Montano, Mark Angelo Jacinto, Reiven Christian Pagtakhan, and Evan Anthony Gindoy tirelessly addressed these issues for three days with the guidance of their Team Adviser Joebert Guzon.
Despite encountering a brake system problem during the final hour of the scheduled Technical Inspection, they got help from another team, S.U. Racing Team from Kazhakstan, to have the brakes fixed — allowing them to prepare to hit the track.
“We were in the same situation before, so we know how difficult it is to find parts for your cars. Some teams helped us before and when we can help, we try to help other teams with their challenges because we think that teams should never give up,” Team Manager Alibek Ibraim from S.U. Racing said.
“We are grateful for the assistance from other teams. Even if we are competitors, they willingly helped us to pass the technical inspection.” ALTAS Valor’s Team Manager, Torres said.
The team is using this setback as a motivation to strive towards achieving a win in the next year’s competition, “We will make sure that we will redeem ourselves from the challenges we experienced this year,” Torres added.
SEM Draws to a Close
Winners for the three subcategories of Urban Concept vehicles are all from Indonesia. The Indonesian student team, Semar Urban UGM, won the top prize in the hydrogen fuel cell category for the first time.
Urban Concept vehicles’ appearance closely resembles that of passenger cars. The teams under this category aim to achieve energy optimization in their cars while also keeping in mind the human needs such as driver comfort.
The Prototype vehicle category competition opened on Saturday. The teams from Thailand, South Korea, and Indonesia were awarded for their exemplary energy efficiency designs in this category.
For Protoype vehicles, students are tasked to design ultraefficient, lightweight designs, typically with three wheels, with the primary goal of optimising the efficiency of energy sources.
Aside from the winners from the two categories, six off-track winners were also awarded on Sunday. One of the awards, the Spirit of Shell Eco-marathon award, recognizes students who utilize their skills to contribute to the welfare of others.
This award was given to S.U. Racing Team from Kazhakstan, the same team that helped the Philippine Team pass Technical Inspection.
Additionally, four teams in the Urban Concept vehicle category from Singapore and Indonesia successfully qualified for the World Championship finale, scheduled to take place on October 10-12 in India.