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ATU Eco-marathon Team Departs for Sonoma

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A new and improved Wonder Car is on its way to the 2019 Shell Eco-marathon Americas challenge.

Six students and one faculty member embarked on Saturday, March 30, upon a 3,800-mile journey to Sonoma, Calif., site of the competition for a second consecutive year.

Arkansas Tech University's entry in the 2018 Shell Eco-marathon Americas challenge finished 18th in the international automotive engineering competition after achieving a fuel consumption rate of 212 miles per gallon.

ATU students Michael Anderson, Brayden Butler, Justin Duke, Andrew Lea, Justin Stroud and Jay Wallace as well as ATU engineering instructor Jacob Weidenfeller are on a mission to improve upon those numbers in 2019.

"The team built a new car in one year," said Dr. John Krohn, professor of mechanical engineering and interim head of the ATU Department of Mechanical Engineering. "That would normally be a multi-year project, but their drive and desire to do it made it possible. It is the culmination of several senior projects. The new car has the same engine, but with a very different design for the body. The car has between half and two-thirds the weight of the old car without losing any strength. The team is convinced it could get twice as good mileage."

The 2019 Shell Eco-marathon Americas challenge runs from April 3-6.

Follow updates will be available as the competition unfolds.