Two teams from Oman fight it out at Shell Eco-marathon in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur - 

The tenth Shell Eco-marathon Malaysia began at the Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia on Monday. 

Titled, ‘Make the Future Live Malaysia 2019’, the event was flagged-off by Yeo Bee Yin, Malaysian Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) and Iain Lo, chairman of Shell Malaysia.

Two teams from Oman, Khanjar from National University and Team Megalodon from GUtech, are taking part in the competition this year. Khanjar has already passed the inspection test, while Megalodon is yet to pass due to some motor issues which they expect to fix by the end of Tuesday.

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“I am glad to say that we have passed the inspection test. We have already registered for the race and anytime from now we will be called to put our car to test. We are very positive and all my students are happy with the outcome. We hope to do well in final competitions,” Dr R Amuthakannan, assistant professor, Department of Engineering at National University and supervisor of Khanjar team, told Muscat Daily.

Ahmed al Ghadani, student team leader of Khanjar, said, “Today is the happiest moment for us. We have been working on our car for almost a year now. So passing the inspection test means a lot to us. We are now waiting to see how we perform on track.”

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Now in its tenth year, the Asian edition of Shell Eco-marathon returns to where it was first held, bringing together over 100 student teams from 18 countries across Asia Pacific and the Middle East to test which car goes farthest using the least amount of energy.

Dr Emmanouil Bouzakis, assistant professor, Department of Engineering at GUtech and the supervisor of Megalodon team, said on Monday that his team was still struggling to finalise the car for inspection test. “We have issues with the motor. We have ordered a new one and we hope to get it soon. This time we participated in the category of hydrogen prototype car.”

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Iman al Maawali, the driver of the Megalodon car looked worried but still hopeful. “We hope to fix the problem soon. This time we wanted to try something new and even if we don’t pass the inspection test, we have learnt a lot about hydrogen cars,” she said. Megalodon is competing in the category of hydrogen cars while Khanjar is taking part in the gasoline category.

The student teams this year are competing in either of the two categories: Prototype – futuristic and highly aerodynamic vehicles – or UrbanConcept – highly economical vehicles that resemble today’s cars. The competition this year has introduced a new category: Autonomous UrbanConcept which combines energy-efficient engineering with driverless technology, pushing the boundaries of design even further.

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