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Penn College Students Field Six Teams in ‘Green Grand Prix’

Twelve students in six automobiles representing the Penn College Motorsports Association completed both stages of the 2015 Toyota Green Grand Prix, held April 17 at the historic Watkins Glen International Raceway.

The 11th annual event, timed to the seasonal opening of the famed racetrack in the Finger Lakes region of New York state, is an educational showcase for innovation in sustainable transportation technologies. Pennsylvania College of Technology was one of four colleges to participate.

In what was termed “fantastic success” by Paul A. Evans, president of the Motorsports Association, the teams brought home four awards from the daylong event.

Penn College students display the four awards they won at the Green Grand Prix in Watkins Glen, New York. Back row, from left: Johnathan T. Capps, North Wales; Joshua J. Cover, Selinsgrove; Zachary D. McCurdy, Horsham; Samuel N. Schwyter, Williamsport; Andrew M. Wursta, Allentown; and Walter P. Sheehan Jr., Douglassville. Front row, from left: Caleb E. Cartmell, Honesdale; Gracie R. Cooper, Green Lane; Paul A. Evans, Haverford (president of the Penn College Motorsports Association); Stephen C. Bart, River Vale, N.J.; and Jared Z. Frederick, Allentown. (Byron B. Reber, of Stevens, was absent when the photo was taken.)
Penn College students display the four awards they won at the Green Grand Prix in Watkins Glen, New York. Back row, from left: Johnathan T. Capps, North Wales; Joshua J. Cover, Selinsgrove; Zachary D. McCurdy, Horsham; Samuel N. Schwyter, Williamsport; Andrew M. Wursta, Allentown; and Walter P. Sheehan Jr., Douglassville. Front row, from left: Caleb E. Cartmell, Honesdale; Gracie R. Cooper, Green Lane; Paul A. Evans, Haverford (president of the Penn College Motorsports Association); Stephen C. Bart, River Vale, N.J.; and Jared Z. Frederick, Allentown. (Byron B. Reber, of Stevens, was absent when the photo was taken.)

The college won the Doris Bovee Memorial Award for having the best overall score among school entries; the award, which honors an environmentalist and alternative-fuels advocate, carries a $1,000 prize.

Evans, of Haverford, who was the driver, and navigator Gracie R. Cooper, of Green Lane, won an overall first prize for piloting an electric Tesla Model S; and Stephen C. Bart, of River Vale, New Jersey, and Jared Z. Frederick, of Allentown, won the award for best fuel economy in an eight-cylinder modified gasoline vehicle (a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8).

The Tesla, a popular and sought-after addition to the event lineup, was named the Most Innovative Production Vehicle.

The morning included a two-hour fuel-economy competition at an average speed of 45 miles per hour. Penn College’s Tesla Model S achieved an efficiency of 320.3 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent using the U.S. Department of Energy’s conversion standard.

Wearing a Wildcat logo, the Tesla S Model takes to the highway.
Wearing a Wildcat logo, the Tesla S Model takes to the highway.

The afternoon event was a Sports Car Club of America time/speed distance rally along scenic public roads in which all Penn College teams participated. The Tesla finished second, and a Subaru Impreza 2.5RS driven by Caleb E. Cartmell, of Honesdale, and navigated by Johnathan T. Capps, of North Wales, placed eighth.

“Our participation in the event would not have been possible without the donations we received,” Evans said. “The Green Grand Prix offered a $500 participation grant, Larry Emery (a college retiree) made an $800 donation, and Trigar Auto made a $100 donation.”

The three other driver/navigator teams from the college were Andrew M. Wursta, of Allentown, and Zachary D. McCurdy, of Horsham, in a Volkswagen Jetta GLI; Samuel N. Schwyter, of Williamsport, and Walter P. Sheehan Jr., of Douglassville, in a Toyota Supra Turbo; and Byron B. Reber, of Stevens, and Joshua J. Cover, of Selinsgrove, in a Mazda Miata.

The students represent six majors in three of Penn College’s academic schools: Evans, Wursta and McCurdy are enrolled in automotive technology management; Bart and Frederick in automotive technology; Cartmell, Sheehan and Cover in automotive technology management: automotive technology concentration; Cooper and Reber in construction management; Capps in mechatronics engineering technology; and Schwyter in manufacturing engineering technology.

For more about the college, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Photos provided