Sheffield University students economy challenge

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A team of Sheffield University students have been taking part in a non-stop driving challenge – in a bid to be crowned the nation’s most economical motorists.

Engineering students Nathan Ray and Arran Maile, both aged 22, completed 80 miles from Sheffield to Liverpool in the Formula Student Diesel Eco-Driving Challenge.

In all, 46 teams have covered a section of a route stretching across the whole country while having their eco-driving ability measured by on-board computers – before passing the vehicle on to the next university.

The teams have been driving a Ford Fiesta, powered by a 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine.

Special equipment onboard means its carbon dioxide emissions are some of the lowest yet for a vehicle.

Monitoring equipment analyse the efficiency of each team’s driving, with three awards up for grabs, which cover city, rural and highway driving.

The students will be joined in the vehicle by a representative from the AA motoring organisation, who will help with the route and economical driving tips.

The marathon began in London, headed south along the coast and then west towards Swansea.

It has been zigzagging since across England and Scotland towards the final destination of Aberdeen University later today.

Students taking part are all also involved with Formula Student 2013, a car design contest taking place at Silverstone from July 4.

Jon Hilton, chairman of Formula Student which has organised the event, said: “This has been a fantastic challenge which will certainly prepare all the students for July’s competition. It’s the first time we’ve attempted a driving challenge of this scale.”