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EcoCAR 3 Team Finishes Strong

Dodge ChargerUT’s EcoCAR 3 team placed 6th place overall and won several top awards in the EcoCAR 3 Year Four final competition held May 10-22.

The competition started at GM’s Desert Proving Grounds in Yuma, Arizona, where the team’s Camaro was put through a series of events that tested emissions, drive quality, and handling. The team then traveled to Fontana, California to test their Camaro at the Auto Club Speedway. The team also had to compete in a 150-mile road rally through Los Angeles County.

“The entire team did an excellent job in completing the Camaro to the 99% buyoff stage of the vehicle development process,” said faculty advisor Butch Irick. The car performed flawlessly in all of the dynamic events, winning first place awards in several of the events.”

Al Oppenheiser, Camaro program chief engineer, remarked to the team that the UT car was the only one in the competition that looked like it should be on the showroom floor.

The team spent countless hours over the past year preparing for the competition and their hard work paid off. They excelled against the other 15 schools competing and received the following awards.

1st Place—Acceleration 50-70 mph (0.4 seconds faster than the stock vehicle)

1st Place—Braking 60-0 mph (20 feet shorter than stock vehicle)

1st Place—Advanced Driver Assistance System Demonstration

1st Place—Snap-on Workmanship and Appearance Award

1st Place—GKN Lightest Weight/Best Value Award

2nd Place—Acceleration 0-60 mph (0.1 seconds out of 1st place)

3rd Place—Autocross (driven by GM pro driver) – fastest time (place 3rd due to 2 second penalty for hitting a cone, 0.4 seconds faster than stock vehicle)

3rd Place—NSF Innovation Award

The eleven students who attended the competition performed well in the competition static presentations, with three finishes in four of the eight presentations.

In the road rally event, the team completed a 170-mile drive around Los Angeles County, being one of seven teams to complete the drive. All teams that completed the drive were hosted by GM at the Woodward Dream Cruise, the world’s largest one-day automotive event, held in Detroit this past August.

“I’m very proud of the team’s accomplishments this year,” said Irick. “Besides the competition success, the success of the students in beginning their engineering careers is the most important endorsement of the program.”

By Kathy Williams