Green Grand Prix marks start of WGI Opening Weekend

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The 15th annual Green Grand Prix kicked off Opening Weekend at Watkins Glen International. 

Despite the wintry weather, a number of area colleges and universities took their eco-friendly motoring technology skills to the track. 

“It’s not too bad, a little rainy, but not too bad,” Daniel Barreto, a student at Alfred State, said. I’m just having fun out there,”

The event is geared towards sustainable transportation technology that allows students to get hands-on experience at a world-renowned track. 

Alfred State helps the event run, so a lot of our students are acting as tech inspectors, installing transponders, fueling cars, stuff like that, so we could keep the event running,” Jason Kellogg, Alfred State Senior Automotive Instructor and a Green Grand Prix board member, said. 

Over the past 15 years, the Green Grand Prix has only expanded. 

“I would say it’s bigger, it keeps growing, so yes this is the biggest,” Bob Gillepsie, Executive Director of the Green Grand Prix Corporation, said. 

Nearly 50 teams of alternate-fueled vehicles and hybrids lapped the track at an average of 45 miles per hour. 

“It’s a 99′ Honda Civic SiR, imported from Canada, B20 VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control), something simple,” Barreto said about the car he drove. 

Simple, but transformative. 

“It’s a look towards the future and it gives auto tech students the opportunity to realize all the new careers that are going to be available for the changes that are now coming rapidly in personal transportation,” Gillepsie said. 

They’re learning to re-frame the way we travel as we know it today, from gas-guzzling cars to a green grand “key” to a sustainable future.

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