Alfred State Automotive Trades students had an excellent showing at the annual Toyota Green Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International Raceway earlier this month. The Pioneers assisted other racers and ended up earning individual and team awards in several different categories.
The national event has been a fixture at The Glen for 15 years, and Alfred State has provided technical support and competed for the past eight years.
The Toyota Green Grand Prix is a showcase of motoring technology that aims for a cleaner environment. The single-day event features a fuel-efficiency competition for pre-registered drivers of alternate-fueled vehicles, hybrids, and traditional gasoline-powered and diesel-powered vehicles. Individuals, colleges and universities, car clubs, and manufacturers are all included in the competition.
Alfred State students start early on the day of the event, coordinating the fueling of participant vehicles, then inspecting all of the cars before attaching transponders that enable precise tracking of the racers through the morning mileage event. Drivers do their best to maintain a 45 MPH average speed for two hours on the track during the Doris Bovee Memorial Fuel Economy Rally.
Fuel economy and precise lap times are the goal of racers that compete in 18 different vehicle categories. Steady light snow throughout the morning left a thick layer of ice on the front of the cars by noon, and the motorsports technology students that drove an open electric race car had to switch drivers often just to finish the event.
The afternoon featured a rally cross competition set up in a large parking lot by Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) professionals. Competitors drove the cone-lined track as fast as they could around the tight course. The students learned that “smooth” is the key to fast on a track like this.
The students were accompanied by Automotive Trades Department Chair Eric Wilmot, Instructional Support Associate Dan Davison, Motorsports Instructor Andrew Smith, and Senior Auto Instructors Mike Ronan and Jason Kellogg. Kellogg serves on the Board of Directors for the Green Grand Prix.
Alfred State students won seven individual awards at the 2019 Toyota Green Grand Prix. Trevor Bardeen, automotive service technician, Burdett, and Mason Banks, automotive service technician, Parksville, won the coveted Doris Bovee Award and the top prize of $1,000 granted to the department. Doris Bovee was a well-known area environmentalist who taught for many years in the Corning-Painted Post school district. Bovee was also involved with SCCA road rallies and was part of the Glen Region SCCA at its inception.
Bardeen and Banks also won the Second Generation Prius class.
Other winners included:
Andrew Giardini, automotive service technician, Olean; and Cal Zacaroli, automotive service technician, East Aurora – First Generation Prius
Ian Troge, automotive service technician, Stormville, and Danielle White, automotive service technician, LeRoy – Three Cylinder Class
Jack Hamilton, motorsports technology, Kinnelon, NJ – Consistent Laps
Mark Simoneau, Mexico, NY – Overall Autocross
Motorsports technology students Edward Newcombe, of Rensselaer Falls; Jonathon Greene, of Rochester; Evan Taggart, of Livingston Manor; and Ethan Millard, of Endicott, teamed up to win the “Most Innovative Non-Production Car” award in the open electric EVSR racer category. Taggart also took top honors in the Autocross category.