27.11.2015 – 29.11.2015

This year, Shell Eco-marathon was organized in Turkey in TIM for the first time. The aim was to gain experience for the main competition that will take place in London in July 2016. 13 Turkish teams participated Shell Eco-marathon Turkey. As Team Terakki, we were one of the 13 teams. Each team was given a tent to get prepared for the competition on Sunday. We had to prepare the cars for the technical inspection to be able to compete. Our school has two cars competing in two different categories: urban and prototype. I was chosen as the driver of our prototype car because it was easy for me to drive the car thanks to my minion physical traits. By the end of the first day, our cars were ready for technical inspection. We successfully connected the lithium polymer accumulator of our urban concept car. All team members had to work collaboratively to avoid mistakes while completing the electrical circuit of our urban concept car. (Even though I was the driver of the prototype car, I was helping the modification of the urban concept car). By the end of the 2nd day, both of our cars passed the technical inspections, fulfilling all the necessary requirements for Shell Eco-marathon Turkey.

Meltem Tol, the social investment and internal communications advisor of Shell Eco-marathon, asked me to prepare an opening speech for the press briefing of the competition. For this reason, I was very excited and nervous about the competition at first. I gave the speech as one of the youngest participants of the competition. I was one of the few female drivers in the competition. Many TV channels and magazines interviewed me and asked me questions about the technical details of our cars as well as my own experiences as a team member. It was a great experience to be on TV after the competition and I felt really excited and honored.

We faced many difficulties during the competition. Most of the difficulties were because of the weather. The main problem was the track was wet. Unfortunately, they canceled the competition of the prototype category due to safety concerns. For this reason, I could not drive the car during the competition. However, they did not cancel the competition for the urban category. Although our urban car was still eligible, it was a rainy weekend and Mr. Bahtiyar was anxious about the safety of our urban car. Accumulator had to stay away from water. Unless, the car could explode. He was reluctant to take the risk and he didn’t want us to compete. As a team, we decided to convince him by taking all the possible precautions against the rain. We duct taped and siliconed all the open places on the chassis as well as the mudguards to ensure water could not leak inside the car. After hours of effort, we could finally convince him. I felt that working as a team made me a stronger insister and a better collaborator.  Other teams were competing while we were trying to improve the safety of our car. Hence, our team got late for the competition. I was worried because the jury could disregard our results even though we had completed the laps. Fortunately, they decided to count our results. I can say that we tried our best to convince Mr. Bahtiyar and the juries. Our team won the “Team Spirit” prize and our urban concept electrical car won the third place in the alternative energy category. I was not surprised by the team spirit prize because I think that we deserved it.

Website: Shell Eco-marathon Turkey

Area: Action – Creativity

Hours Completed: 9 – 10