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Engineering students crowned joint champions with a podium place at Indianapolis

A group of engineering students from WMG and the School of Engineering at the University of Warwick have been named joint winners of the international Electric Vehicle Grand Prix (EVGP) after an enthralling race at Indianapolis.EVGP team

At one of the world’s most famous race tracks the Warwick Racing team crossed the line in third place after an action-packed contest, earning them enough points to be crowned joint winners after they placed second in the outreach competition and fourth in the design competition.

Warwick’s driver Tom Olliphant started in pole position at Indianapolis and was pulling away from the rest of the 20-strong field but a series of yellow flags closed the cars back up before a crash saw the Warwick kart smash into the barrier.

Chief Mechanic Ben Cowling had his work cut out in the pits to get the Warwick car back on the track, which he somehow managed – but it left the team 15 laps behind the race leaders.

Excellent driving by Tom saw the Warwick kart move back up the field to third, only seven laps behind the lead car.

But with the kart still damaged from the earlier crash the pit team were urging Tom to look after the kart and finish on the podium, rather than going for bust to catch the leader.

As the race was drawing to a close there was a real fear that the Warwick kart would have to retire as its condition worsened with each passing lap but Tom managed to get the kart safely home in third place.

He said: “This was one of the most challenging races of my life because of the rough track surface and the actions of numerous inexperienced drivers on track.

“The whole team did a fantastic job bringing home a podium in the race with a heavily damaged kart that could have been retired on lap 11. This result has only been possible because of hard work from the whole Warwick team, our supervisors, the technicians and of course our sponsors to whom we are extremely grateful for helping us make this happen.”

Dr James Meredith, from WMG, said: “I am very proud of the Warwick EVGP team.

“They worked really hard and produced a professional quality kart which has delivered a great result. A lot of people here at WMG put a great deal of effort into this project and this makes it all worthwhile.”

Student David Watkins added: “This has been an immensely rewarding project to be involved with.

“The team has succeeded in efficiently combining and applying our various disciplines to produce this genuinely impressive electric kart. The competition has provided an opportunity for students to engage with electric vehicles and green technologies whilst offering a large scope for competitive innovation.”

Notes to Editors

An image of the team can be found online.

A video of the students being interviewed on American TV station CBS Indianapolis can be found here.

For more information contact Luke Hamer, Assistant Press Officer, University of Warwick, on 02476 575601, or on 07824 541142. Alternatively email l.hamer@warwick.ac.uk