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Colombian single-seaters seek to compete in Europe

Colombian students and instructors will put their electric cars to the test this Sunday in the Sena Eco 2014 Formula, a competition that seeks to serve as a seedbed for a local team that in the future will compete in Europe with cars developed and assembled in the country.
The Tocancipá racetrack will host this weekend the second version of the competition, the first of electric formula-type vehicles in the world that makes Colombia a pioneer of an initiative that also allows exploring environmentally friendly solutions for current urban transport problems .
Ten teams that group 24 of the 33 regional headquarters of the state National Learning Service (SENA) will present vehicles assembled by 1,425 apprentices and 500 instructors on the occasion, Ximena Díaz, a leader in strategy, told Colombia.inn, an agency operated by Efe. of the project.
But beyond the competition, single-seaters are an excuse to address the lack of “people trained to deal with electric motor problems,” explained Díaz, and indicated that this is part of the SENA Formula project, in which 6,000 million have been invested of pesos (about 3,192 million dollars) since 2009.
The “dream of the project”, according to the official, is that in 2015 Colombia will have a team that competes on European tracks and for this, last November the first version of this race took place in Tocancipá (near Bogotá), in which 10 vehicles ran 22 laps.
“Now comes the electric Formula 1 in September,” added Díaz, referring to the announcement made by the International Automobile Federation that it will approve in that month the calendar for the first season of Formula E, considered the electric Formula 1, which will be held in ten large cities in Europe, America and Asia.
For the directive, it is feasible “to even bring one of the valid ones to the Tocancipá racetrack.”
In this year’s version, SENA granted a budget of 30 million pesos (about $ 15,000) to each team to innovate in design and products to achieve greater speed.
“Last year a speed of 100 kilometers per hour was expected, but they reached 135. On Sunday we tried to reach 145 kilometers per hour in about 17 laps,” said the official, who explained that on Saturday the ‘pole position’ will be defined and the next day the race will take place.
According to Mauricio Toro, technical co-leader of the Sena Eco Formula, “the automotive industry has already decided what the future of the car is, and the future of the car is electric.”
“If we want Colombia to go from being behind in technological issues to being at the forefront, it has to learn to make electric cars,” Toro said.
The vehicles, with a maximum width of two meters and a minimum distance of two meters between axles, will be driven by semi-professional drivers of the Colombian Automobile Federation, including a woman, Natalia Méndez, who will be in front of the car in the department of Arauca (this).
“With this project we are building a single-seater, but we are also polishing the welder who is going to weld the oil pipelines, those who are going to work in maintenance contributions and in the electrical sectors,” said Gerson Mena, leader of the team of “Los Araucos ».
Next December, within the framework of the Six Hours of Bogotá, the most important race in Colombia, the second and last stage of the Formula Sena Eco 2014 will take place.
In that month the winner of the competition will be known, who will have to add the majority of the 1,300 points in dispute, of which 800 correspond to the training process and 500 to the races.

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