It was the first time in three years that we have missed the Perodua Eco-Challenge due to commitments, so instead of live coverage, here are some belated updates. 2011 champs Politeknik Ungku Omar (PUO) has been crowned overall champion at Perodua Eco-Challenge 2012, held once again at the Melaka International Motorsports Circuit.

Competing against 13 other institutions of higher learning, Ipoh’s PUO was able to score the most points in all four categories – Engineering & Design, Longest Distance and two new for 2012 categories: Marketing and Time Attack. In the former, students must “sell” their product by way of events and a product presentation, while Time Attack is a dynamic test. In the main event, machines must go the furthest on half a litre of petrol.

PUO was the winner of the “Longest Distance” category last year with 24.07 km from 500 ml of Petronas RON 95 petrol. They also won the “Manual Transmission Long Distance” category in 2009 with 23 km from one litre of petrol.

This year, PUO finished second in the km/l race, doing 18.77 km from 500 ml of petrol. The winner was UNISEL with 21.88 km. Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) was second runner up with 15.80 km.

PUO won the Engineering & Design category followed by Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). For the Marketing challenge, Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) was champion, followed by UiTM and UNISEL. Time Attack was won by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). Second and third runners-up places were taken by UNISEL and Politeknik Port Dickson (POLIPD) respectively.

Other participants were from Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Universiti Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia Spanish Institute, Politeknik Sultan Azlan Shah, Universiti Teknologi Petronas and Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka.

The incumbent teams had to improve on their 2011 vehicles built using a ViVA 660cc engine and transmission. Perodua provided RM10,000 to each team for mods and RM5,000 for the marketing challenge. Total prize money for this year’s race has been increased to RM103,000 from RM77,000 last year to cater for the three new categories. Congratulations to all winners!