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College and Public Relations

Red River College Students On Track to Compete In International Race

October 4, 2017

A rush of electricity is racing through Red River College over the next six months.

A team of students from Red River College’s (RRC) Mechanical Engineering Technology program have been meeting every Wednesday since January 2016 to design and build a battery-electric vehicle. In a few short months they’ll watch it cruise, coast and drift along the track at the Sonoma Raceway in California.

In April, the team will compete at the 2018 Shell Eco-Marathon Challenge Americas in Sonoma, California, where they will face off against more than 1,000 student-made cars from high schools, colleges and universities from across the Americas. The goal; build the car that can go the farthest distance while using the least amount of energy.

This morning they presented a sneak-peek to RRC President and CEO, Paul Vogt and officially announced the car’s name: SpaRRCky.

“This is one of the best examples of applied learning,” said Vogt. “When you combine industry-led training, with highly motivated students, and faculty expertise, you can achieve great things. I am very proud that our College is a place where we can turn vision into reality, and I can’t wait to see how our racer performs in California.”

Students can enter the competition in one of two vehicle categories – Prototype or UrbanConcept. The Prototype category challenges teams to enter futuristic-looking, streamlined vehicles focused on maximizing efficiency; and the UrbanConcept category focuses on practical road designs. For both categories teams can use any of seven official energy sources – including conventional fuels such as gasoline or diesel, as well as alternative fuels such as hydrogen, ethanol, gas-to-liquid (GTL), compressed natural gas (CNG) or battery electric technologies.

RRC’s team will be competing in the Prototype category with their battery-electric vehicle, and over the next few weeks the team will be testing each individual component and will begin piecing the vehicle together. By November they’ll be ready for test drives.

“The best part for me is that I can apply all the knowledge I’ve learned at school to the real world,” said Bin Yang, one of the team members. “We look forward to testing, and fixing, and testing until we’re ready to go.”

Next week the team will begin its search for a driver. For updates, follow along at

Thank you for helping the team make it to California

This project has been generously supported by CTTAM Inc., Custom Castings Limited, Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation in Canada (CARIC), Vehicle Technology Centre Inc., Judy Werier and Leon Fainstein.

For sponsorship opportunities please contact Jakee Werbuk at 204.632.2086 or