Louisiana Tech Shell Eco-marathon team invited to Grand Prix of Houston

Sep 30, 2013 | Engineering and Science

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Louisiana Tech University’s award-winning Shell Eco-marathon team has been invited to participate in the 2013 Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston on October 4-6 where they will display their diesel urban prototype car, “Hot Rod,” and answer questions about their innovation process.

Louisiana Tech's award-winning eco-marathon car, 'Hot Rod'

Louisiana Tech’s award-winning eco-marathon car, ‘Hot Rod’

The Louisiana Tech team will be featured in the Shell Mobility Experiential area inside the Reliant Arena, participate in a race day parade and will take the track behind the actual race cars for a pre-race lap.

“Our team is indeed honored to be recognized in this way,” said Michael Swanbom, team adviser and lecturer in mechanical engineering at Louisiana Tech.  “The students on our team give so much of themselves to make our vehicles successful.  I am excited to get to represent the University and the Shell Eco-marathon event alongside such quality students.”

In addition to race day events, the Houston event includes a variety of family friendly activities in Reliant Park that are designed to complement the Grand Prix’s world-class racing competition.  The Shell Eco-marathon display will be complimented by dozens of other interactive and educational displays.

“Shell and Pennzoil have a long history with the IZOD IndyCar Series and, with our lubricants in the IndyCars, we view the racetrack as today’s laboratory for tomorrow’s road cars,” said Shell Oil Company President Marvin Odum. “There are few better places to show that off than at a Grand Prix in our own backyard.”

Presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers, approximately 150,000 race fans are expected to attend the Grand Prix’s twelve races and “Three-Day Festival of Speed,” which also includes IZOD IndyCar double-header races, live music, a huge entertainment zone and fan engagement at every level including pit and paddock access.  Twelve races will take place on a 1.7-mile track, built in 96 hours around Reliant Park, where drivers will move up to 180 miles per hour around the 10-turn course.

The Louisiana Tech Eco-marathon team has been a fixture at the Shell Eco-marathon Americas event the last few years in Houston.  Last spring, the team again won first place for diesel fuel mileage when “Hot Rod,” won first place in the category with 316 mpg.  The car also won first place in the 2012 competition. Written by Catherine Fraser –