Automotive Students Prepare for Record Run at Bonneville Salt Flats

Ten students and four faculty members from the Alfred State Automotive Trades Department are traveling to the famous Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah this week to attempt to break the land speed record for 1 liter automobiles. Department chair Kent Johnson will lead the team to Wendover, Utah, where over 450 competitors will compete in a variety of categories. Johnson notes that the effort is an example of the college's focus on project-based learning.

The Honda Insight Hybrid was donated by an Alfred alumnus, and Johnson explained that the extensive modifications to the car were completed with donated funds and industry support. Students worked before and after classes to complete the car, which will be piloted by automotive instructor Sean Haggerty and Alfred State president Dr. John Anderson. The land speed attempt follows a May victory in another donated Insight at the Watkins Glen Green Grand Prix, where that student-prepared car went against competitors from around the country to capture a mileage challenge. That car averaged 96 MPG over a three-hour-long "race" at the Finger Lakes track.

Honda Insight Hybrid

The Insight and tow van are shown above in front of the college “Zero Energy Home Laboratory”, another recent student project. Pictured from left to right are Michael Ronan, professor, Automotive Trades Department; Tim Randall, Spencerport, 2012 Automotive Trades graduate; Billy McMahon, Avoca, 2012 Automotive Trades graduate; Geoffrey Aman, Rochester, 2012 Automotive Trades graduate; Will Weaver and Sean Haggerty, instructors, Automotive Trades Department. Students Randall, McMahon, and Aman helped with this project.