French connection as Telford team helping students in road race mission – with video

Two students from France have been using engineering facilities in Telford to help them take part in a humanitarian road race to the Sahara Dessert.

Antoine, left, and Jeremy
Antoine, left, and Jeremy

Jeremy Simonneau and Antoine Maret have been restoring a 1986 Renault 4L car which they bought for 2,000 euros in order to take part in the 4L Trophy, an annual humanitarian car rally across the Moroccan desert with the objective of providing children with school supplies.

Thousands of students aged 18 to 28 from across Europe take part in the rally from Biarritz to Marrakesh, crossing three countries armed only with a compass and a map to direct them.

Jeremy and Antoine are both studying for degree courses in engineering technology at the Ecole Superieure Des Technologies Industrielles Avancees (ESTIA).

The University of Wolverhampton has partnered with ESTIA since 2005 and offers degree courses in technology management.

Jeremy, left, and Antoine

The French students are both studying engineering at the Telford Innovation Campus for one year, as part of their three year course.

They drove the Renault 4L from France to Telford where the University of Wolverhampton Race Team (UWR) and staff have been helping them to restore the car.

Jeremy said: “We have been able to use the great facilities at Telford and have really benefited from the advice given to us by students and staff in the School of Engineering.

"They have given us tools, materials, a new fan for the engine and protection plates which have been specially cut with a laser tool in the workshop.”

Watch the video of Jeremy et Antoine:

Antoine said: “One of the technicians, Nick, helped us to restore the chassis which had suffered from quite a bit of corrosion and he used welding equipment in order to fix it.

"The main objective of the race is to deliver things like books and pens to Morocco for the school children there and we are really looking forward to getting the car on the road.”

Paul Bates, technical and business resource manager at the University of Wolverhampton’s Telford Innovation Campus, said: “It has been a pleasure working with the two ESTIA students.

"I’m sure that the activity has benefited their learning from both a practical and project management viewpoint.

"It has certainly been an interesting venture and we all wish them well in the event.”

The students will drive the car back to France before taking part in the one week road rally – departing from Biarritz on February 20 and aiming to be in Marrakesh by March 1.

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