SAC Motorsport to compete with new vehicle in California

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Engineering sophomore Allie Moore drives Shark Bait, a hydrogen fuel-cell car, April 12 in front of Nursing. SAC Motorsport revealed the car to staff, faculty, friends and family. The team will be leaving to Sonoma, Cali. to compete at the Shell Eco-marathon April 19-22. Brianna Rodrigue

The team unveiled their new car “Sharkbait” April 12

By Dillon Holloway

dholloway12@student.alamo.edu

The SAC Motorsport team has taken their new hydrogen-powered car on the road to compete in its second Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition April 20-22 in Sonoma, Calif.

The team unveiled the new car, named “Sharkbait,” in front of about 80 students, staff, faculty and media April 12 west of the nursing complex.

SAC Motorsport consists of engineering students from this college and is sponsored by MESA Center Coordinator Dee Dixon.

Isaac Medina, mechanical engineering sophomore and mechanical lead for SAC Motorsport, said the team expects this competition to be just as difficult, if not more so, than the team’s third place finish April 2017 in Detroit.

“We’re feeling excited, but it is going to be a very difficult competition,” he said.

“We’re working against Duke University, St. Thomas Academy and other major technology schools.”

Medina said Sharkbait is an improvement over the team’s previous car “Noventa.”

“One of the major differences is that this vehicle has an all-Fiberglas-and-aluminum body and the other vehicle was steel with a polycarbonate shell,” he said.

Brainstorming for the new vehicle began in November with the team working many late nights to have the car ready in time for competition.

Dixon estimates the team spent about 2,000 hours completing the project.

Medina said Sharkbait is more lightweight and more aerodynamic than its predecessor.

Medina said the team dubbed the composite Fiberglas body of the car “cardboard on steroids.”

Medina said many of the materials used to build Sharkbait were left over from the previous vehicle project such as pedals, wheels and brake calipers.

The car is powered by a combination of hydrogen gas, oxygen and electricity and the only byproducts are water and heat, Medina said.

Competition updates will be posted on the team’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/sacmotorsport through the weekend.

 

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