Autocross Event Showcases Student Vehicles

There is only one day left of dynamic testing at General Motors (GM) Desert Proving Ground (DPGY) and as of Saturday afternoon, 13 of 15 student vehicles have passed the 300-point safety and technical inspection.

In the midst of dynamic events, organizers hosted a group “Autocross” event last night that showcased six student vehicles racing throughout a serpentine, cone-lined course on the Dynamics Pad. The Autocross event involves testing the vehicle’s balance and stability at higher than average maneuvering speeds. The competition was fierce to beat the stock 2013 Chevrolet Malibu time of 38.343 seconds.

EcoCAR student vehicles had three chances to get the fastest Autocross time with a General Motor’s driver behind the wheel, and in the end, California State University – Los Angeles completed the course with the fastest time of 39.535 seconds. Penn State University came in a very close second with 39.638 seconds! Other teams that participated in Autocross includes North Carolina State University, Rose-Hulman, Colorado State University, and the University of Washington.

Students also had the opportunity to get behind the wheel to race for the fastest “Fun Run” time. California State University – Los Angeles team leader Chris Reid took top honors with a time of 40.343 seconds.

In addition to the group Autocross event, students as well as university administrators visiting the GM DPG this weekend, had the chance to witness numerous Chevrolet Corvettes whip through the Autocross track. Each team was given one ‘hot pass’ to allow a single student to sit in the passenger seat and experience the Autocross course in a Corvette.

After the event, students and sponsors enjoyed a BBQ dinner and several awards. Winners include:

  • Best Collaboration with a Clean Cities (3rd, 2nd, 1st): Penn State University, Wayne State University, and Ohio State University
  • Best Final Technical Report – Ohio State University
  • Best Vehicle AppearanceEmbry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Best Fabrication and Workmanship Award – North Carolina State University
  • Best Autocross Fun Run Time – Chris Reid of California State University, Los Angeles
  • NSF Outstanding Incoming Faculty Award – Tom Bradley of Colorado State University
  • NSF Outstanding Long-Term Faculty Award – Doug Nelson of Virginia Tech

Watch some of the student vehicles in the Autocross below! As always, check out the EcoCAR Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates, and the AVTC Flickr for more photos from the Autocross event.