Seven colleges and universities from Michigan to New York will be competing in the 10th annual Toyota Green Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International on Friday, April 11, according to a press release issued on Monday, March 31 from organizers.
According to Toyota Green Grand Prix organizer, Bob Gillespie, the event will be a showcase of motoring technology with an educational emphasis to promote innovation in sustainable transportation technologies. The competing colleges and universities have entered project vehicles powered by bio-diesel, diesel and gasoline in addition to hybrids and plug-ins. Private and business entries include everything from vintage pick-up trucks to sports cars and full-electric specials.
"The 10th anniversary Green Grand Prix will include what I believe is the world's most diverse field of entries in a single motoring event," Gillespie said.
"It's exciting to think that this takes place right here in Watkins Glen, where innovations in automotive technology have been spawned since the first races in 1948."
Among the most recent entries is a 1974 Fiat Urba Centurionwith 17 horsepower Kubota diesel engine. Returning this year is the West Philadelphia High School team, which in 2011 won the top fuel prize with a custom-built Factory Five that was driven around the track at 160 miles per gallon.
The Toyota Green Grand Prix is open to spectators, and admission is free.
The daylong Toyota Green Grand Prix includes the Doris Bovee Memorial Road Rallies, a two-stage event: a fuel economy rally on the famed race track in the morning and a time-speed-distance rally on the roads of the Finger Lakes Region in the afternoon. Pre-registration is required for the rallies.
"Our goal is to promote eco-driving styles and to inspire the next generation of automotive engineers and technicians to work toward environmentally responsible solutions for transportation," Gillespie said.
The next generation will be represented at the Toyota Green Grand Prix by the high school teams expected from across the state who will be participating in NYElectrathon races.
The students build, maintain and drive single-seat electric vehicles that are powered by the battery equivalent of 1 hp. They will be racing at speeds of about 30 mph on a course set up in the race track's south parking lot.
The Electrathon event will include educational technical talks by team members.
Friday's Toyota Green Grand Prix once again kicks off Watkins Glen International's season-opening weekend, April 12-13.