Warwickshire students’ veg fuelled car races ahead

Motor vehicle students at Warwickshire College with their bio-diesel car.
Motor vehicle students at Warwickshire College with their bio-diesel car.

An environmentally-friendly car powered on vegetable fuel designed by Warwickshire College students raced ahead to win first place at the national Alternative Energy race.

The bio-diesel car, created at the college’s Trident Centre in Leamington, powered through the quarter-mile course at the Santa Pod Raceway in Wellingborough in 16.66 seconds at a speed of 72.3 mph.

Motor vehicle student Tom Kerr, who is currently working as an apprentice with Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We’ve been involved in getting the car race-ready – doing the service check, replacing the glass windows with plastic and reducing the size of the exhaust so the car is lighter, for example.

“There was a problem with the fuel pump, so we had to diagnose the problem and fix that. We also put the car through five or six runs on the chassis dynamometer to check its performance.

“It’s a great project to be involved with because you’re applying what you learn and we’re really pleased with the result on the track.”

Lecturer Jim Nutt said: “The majority of our students on the motor vehicle and body repair courses get involved with the car at some point and it’s a great teaching tool. Alternative energies are really important for the industry, so this gives them valuable knowledge for their future careers

“We also do a lot of work on the science and maths behind improving the performance of the car, so to see it win on the track is great motivation for the students – their hard work has paid off.”