Eating for the Cause!

For most competitors, achieving ‘race weight’ means strict kilojoule counting, but at just 46.5 kg, Year 11 student Ben Pignataro needs to gain more than 3 kg to meet the minimum race weight requirement, or carry weight’s, for this week’s Shell Eco Marathon in Manila, an international competition of Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEV).


The Girton Racing Team is the only school team in Australia to be selected to compete in the international event and Ben and his team will attempt to go as far as they can on as little fuel as possible in a series of events that challenge and measure efficiency in design, innovation, teamwork and skill.


Headmaster of Girton Grammar School, Matthew Maruff, said that the team of three Year 11 and 12 boys took it upon themselves, with the support of teachers and parents, to submit plans for their vehicle to the Manila event organisers to demonstrate their understanding of the event and its requirements.


“Once these plans were approved, the team submitted detailed vehicle plans including wiring diagrams, component schematics and fuel system diagrams which were also approved by event organisers.


“The team has already shipped their vehicle to the Philippines and with 4 consecutive wins at the RACV Energy Breakthrough event in recent years, the team has great race experience.


“The vehicle has been built around Ben’s proportions, allowing the team to build a very light and compact vehicle and to create precise cockpit window dimensions and placement.


“Ben will receive intensive instruction on fuel efficient driving technique to suit the circuit in Manila, and no doubt, will be taking take advice on this from his parents,” Mr Maruff said.


The Girton Racing Team is currently in Manila. All three students are strong in Mathematics and Systems Engineering and have been supported by Mr Rod Smith, Head of Technology at Girton Grammar School and a father of one of the team members, Mr Robin Kirby.

Ben carbo loading with help from his mother, Susan.
Ben carbo loading with help from his mother, Susan.