Whilst our teams this week in Australia have been racing to get their entries in as quickly as possible, the Girton Racing Team from Bendigo is in Singapore taking on a very different type of challenge. They’re competing in the Shell Eco-Marathon (Asia) and are aiming to cover 900km their vehicle with just one litre of petrol.

Girton’s journey to the Shell Eco-Marathon:

Shell Eco-Marathon (Asia) runs from March 16 – 19, 2017 and will feature over 100 teams each taking on the challenge. Whilst the event is mainly a university competition, Girton are the only secondary school team ever to compete in the Marathon.


The Eco-Marathon team, led by Technology teacher Rod Smith, Team Manager Robin Kirby and ex-student Lucas Kirby, will see six students travel in Singapore covering duties of media, pit crew, fundraising and, of course, pilot. Team members include Benjamin Pignataro (pilot), Monty Velthuis, Myles Blum, Karl Ferrari, Tyrone Moloney, Rob Wood and Connor McCaig.

How far?

“The aim is definitely 900 kilometres or more, hopefully 1,000 kilometres,” says Isabella Stone when speaking with RACVEB recently. “The team have spent a lot time practicing and calibrating the vehicle to really maximise that one litre of petrol. What the team have created under Rod, Robin and Lucas is amazing.”

Isabella is the Team Manager for the school’s RACV Energy Breakthrough program.

Girton at the RACV Energy Breakthrough 

Closer to home, the Eco-Marathon program runs in parallel with the human powered vehicle (HPV) and energy efficient vehicle (EEV) programs run under their Girton Racing Team banner, explained Isabella.

Above: Comparison between the team’s Eco-Marathon fairing and their ‘standard’ RACV Energy Breakthrough fairing. Source: Girton Racing Team Facebook Page

The Girton Racing Team have been mightily successful in the RACV Energy Breakthrough in recent years. After a three year domination of the single-powered source category, their attention in 2016 turned to Section 2 category, where the vehicle must feature two power sources: petrol + electric. Their efforts continued their run of success and saw them win Design & Construction, the Trial and the Overall category.

“Yes, we were very pleased with the result,” said Isabella, “and were thrilled to finish the trial as the second Energy Efficient Vehicle overall too (behind Ormeau Woods SHS).”

“We didn’t expect that the new track configuration was going to be so uphill, but we developed a strategy to use the straights and downhill sections to our advantage and maximise our power and fuel usage.”

Now their aim for the 2017 RACV Energy Breakthrough is to get an entry in and beat their record from 2016.

Recent video report from Bendigo’s WIN News:

Helpful links: