Welcome Night Kicks Off Year Three Competition Finals

The 2011 Year Three EcoCAR Competitions Finals has officially begun! More than 350 students and competition organizers have arrived at the General Motors Proving Grounds in Milford, Michigan to begin the third and final competition of the EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge series.

Teams arrived Sunday afternoon to register for the competition and to begin unpacking their designated pit areas in the South Garage of Building 16, the Hybrid and Electric Integration Center.  Once completed, students headed to Lucky Strike Novi for an evening filled of fun and excitement for the EcoCAR Welcome Night.

This year, Welcome Night marked the official kick off for the competition finals. After kicking things off with brief introductions, the competition organizers thanked each General Motors mentor with a special signed photo frame gift from their respective team. Mentors have helped the teams throughout the three-year competition in proving technical support and guidance.

Each year at Welcome Night, teams have a chance to blow off a little steam with a skit. This year, teams had a chance to submit a 60-second skit video or parody to debut at Welcome Night. After viewing all 16 team videos, as well as an organizer and GM Mentor video, Virginia Tech took top honors in winning Best Skit Video for Year Three! The University of Victoria and West Virginia University came in a close 2nd and 3rd place. You can check out Virginia Tech’s remake of Inception below.

Competition organizers also announced the pre-competition award winners for several deliverables, including:

Organizers also announced the current top six ranked teams based on pre-competition points:

After all of the awards were announced, teams had a chance to bowl and play arcade games throughout Lucky Strike. Teams were battling each other in skee-ball, racing simulators, and more! Special congratulations to Embry-Riddle on winning more than 4,100 tickets on various arcade games!

Teams will now be put to the test as Day 1 of EcoCAR began this morning!