Bianca Gonzalez leads eco-marathon in Asia

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‘Team Pilipinas’ participating universities with Bianca Gonzalez

‘Team Pilipinas’ participating universities with Bianca Gonzalez

To kick off the upcoming Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2014, TV host and social media personality Bianca Gonzalez embarked  on an all-day driving challenge on January 17. Using Shell FuelSave gasoline as limited as possible, Gonzalez proved how efficiently green the fuel was.

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The drive began at the Shell Refinery in Tabangao, Batangas, where Gonzalez met with the only Filipino Shell Fuel scientist based in Malaysia, Mae Ascan. The two power-ladies talked about efficient driving that could minimize fuel consumption.

From Batangas, the drive headed to Manila to visit three universities joining in the Shell Eco-marathon namely: De La Salle University (DLSU), University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Mapua Institute of Technology, Manila. From one school to another, Gonzalez saw the vehicles of the future designed by engineering students.

Shell celebrity driver Bianca Gonzalez (right) with Shell Scientist Mae Ascan

Shell celebrity driver Bianca Gonzalez (right) with Shell Scientist Mae Ascan

Stopping over at a Shell outlet in United Nations Ave., Gonzales then moved on to Patio Victoria in Intramuros. One of the oldest districts in Manila, it served as the final route of the drive.

“If there’s one of the things I learned it’s the little things that make a difference. Not all fuels are created equal. For one, FuellSave, obviously, is very efficient,” Gonzalez said at culminating event.

“Just like road rage, although you can’t help it sometimes, especially with Manila driving, it makes a huge difference in fuel. But if you keep your head cool and you don’t step on the gas too much and break abruptly, it helps a lot. So the ‘cool-head mantra’ makes a huge difference,” she added.

Shell Eco-marathon is an annual competition that challenges student-teams around the world to design and build energy-saving vehicles. Here, “Team Pilipinas” is composed of 17 teams from different universities around the metro, including Mapua, DLSU and UST, Adamson University, Don Bosco University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines and Technology Institute of the Philippines,

“More than just a competition, Shell Eco-Marathon helps in creating awareness that energy, efficiency and smarter mobility is very important,” shared Edgar Chua, the country manager of Shell Philippines. “[With the contest] we also want to create a lot of excitement for our youth [so that they are inspired]to take a Science and Technology courses.”

While Filipinos are known in the arts and sports arenas, Chua is hopeful that soon, the country will also be recognized in the sciences.

From February 6 to 9, there will be around 120 teams from 16 countries to participate in the Asian leg of the Shell Eco-marathon. Happening at the Quirino Grandstand, it is considered a feat for the Philippines.

Aside from the race of these prototype cars, Gonzales will participate in the final celebrity driving challenge against three other famous faces from Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.

Actor Alex Simon Rendell will be representing Thailand; model and TV host Lisa Surhani for the Malaysian team; and celebrity DJs and real-life couple Glenn Ong and Jean Danker for Singapore. The winner will be awarded as “Shell FuelSave Celebrity Driver of the Year.”

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