Move over, Princess Peach – there’s a new racer in town. Twenty-three-year-old Automotive Technician student Daren Nuevo will soon be getting behind the wheel of SpaRRCky, Red River College’s battery-electric racecar.“I want to drive SpaRRCky now!” she said. But before Daren fastens into the driver’s seat, the raceteam has some work to do.
The team, made up of Mechanical Engineering Technology students, have taken measurements of Daren and the two backup drivers, which will allow them to build the final components of the vehicle.
The Shell Eco-Marathon, where the team is hoping to compete in either 2018 or 2019, has dozens of specific regulations for car design and safety, which RRC’s team are integrating around the new measurements. Once the car is fully rigged, the team will begin road-testing.
Daren said that this opportunity will give her a chance to speak to other women who may be interested in applied technology or trades program at RRC.
“I am in the automotive program, where there are not many women,” Daren said. “It’s great that I get to represent the College, and hopefully encourage other women to pursue careers in fields where women are in the minority.”
Racing, a sport that has also been dominated by men in the past, has begun to see an influx of women drivers, and Daren is proud to be a part of that. One of the team’s backup drivers, Kirsten Laufer, is also a woman, and they follow on the heels of Red River College graduate Amber Balcaen, the first Canadian female to win a NASCAR Sanctioned race in the USA.
When asked if she has any fears, Daren said just one.
“My worst fear would be accidentally breaking the SpaRRCky car,” she said. “Other than that, I don’t have any other fears. I am just excited to drive it!”
SpaRRCky and the RRC team are currently on a waiting list for the 2018 Shell Eco-Marathon at the Sonoma Raceway in California and will be applying for a spot in the 2019 competition. Stay tuned for upcoming opportunities to see SpaRRCky in action.