Student racers on top step of podium after comeback

By Matthew Bates 16/05 Updated: 17/05 15:04

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Buy photos » The winning WMG team show off their electric go-kart. (s)

RACING to rival Lewis Hamilton meant a group of University of Warwick students were named joint winners of an international engineering event.

A group of Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) students developed an electric kart to race around Indianapolis in the USA - one of the world's most famous tracks - in the Electric Vehicle Grand Prix.

The competition see universities from around the globe develop an electric go-kart and compete against each other.

Driver Tom Olliphant started in pole position for the final race after a second in the outreach and fourth in the design competitions.

He pulled away from the pack but a series of yellow flags meant the cars closed back up, before a crash saw the kart smash into a barrier.

Chief mechanic Ben Cowling somehow got the car back on track but with the team 15 laps behind the race leaders.

And a thrilling finish saw Tom move back up the field to third, just seven laps behind the lead car - despite the damaged car being on its last legs.

Tom said the actions of other drivers and a rough track surface meant it was one of the most challenging races of his life.

"The whole team did a fantastic job bringing home a podium in the race with a heavily damaged kart that could have been retired on lap 11.

"This result has only been possible because of hard work from the whole Warwick team, our supervisors, the technicians and of course our sponsors."

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