Will these West Norfolk students be able to build Europe’s most economical car?

The college's Euro car. Picture: Submitted

The college's Euro car. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Students from the College of West Anglia are entering a European motoring competition to build the most economical car.

Chris Rabicano and Raffe O'Brien from the college.

Chris Rabicano and Raffe O'Brien from the college. - Credit: Archant

Some 200 teams and around 3,000 students from colleges and universities are taking part in the Shell Eco-marathon Europe.

The college has joined forces with fellow colleges from Bonn, in Germany, and Soissons, in France, to develop a vehicle.

College of West Anglia engineering students have been working on the engine and electrical systems, the German students on the chassis and steering and the French students on the bodywork.

The car has been given the name of 'Pinto', which has derived from a town equidistant from King's Lynn, Soissons and Bonn.


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In order to savour the atmosphere and keep an eye on fellow competitors, Lecturer Chris Rabicano and a second year student Raffe O'Brien will be camping near the Ahoy racetrack, near Rotterdam, for the event.

Mr O'Brien hopes to have the opportunity to drive the vehicle and may be the only student representing the UK in the competition.

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Mr Rabicano said: 'I hope to make the Shell Eco - Marathon an annual project for our Engineering students working alongside colleagues from Germany and France. Students from Kings Lynn have used high tech design tools such as 3D CAD, 3D printing, Laser cutting and CNC machining to produce components for the vehicle taking part in the competition.

'This is a great opportunity for students to enhance their employability with experience of working as part of a multinational team in a major European competition.'

Mr O'Brien, 23, from Wereham, said he would be ecstatic if he the chance to drive the car for any part of its run. But he said he would understand if the Germans had drivers who were lighter or more dextrous.

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