Electrathon team places second in alternative energy races at Lime Rock


Courtesy of Lime Rock Park

Need for Speed — Students participate at the annual Connecticut Electrathon on November 1, the event hosted 15 high school teams at Lime Rock Park.

John Guerrera, News Editor

The Alternative Energy Vehicle Design class recently participated in the annual Connecticut Electrathon on November 1 at Lime Rock Park. The races first began in 2001 with hopes to integrate research and engineering into the high school atmosphere. Students who participate in the event construct electric vehicles designed for racing over one hour around the famed circuit.

Electrathon provides a platform that allows students to display, compare, and test their ability against local competition. The event also creates a community in which groups and individuals can participate competitively and safely. The event is broken down into three classes: Novice (for first-year participants), Classic (includes any vehicle that has competed in the past), and the Composite (advanced vehicles made of composite materials such as fiberglass, with no frame.) The event is held two times a year: one race in the fall and the other in the spring.

During this year’s fall edition, the high school submitted two electric vehicles into the classic class. Once of which was built two years ago, and the other built by last year’s students. Applied Arts teacher James Corrigan emphasizes a multi-material construction as a pivotal aspect to producing an effective vehicle.

“The students focus on using lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber for materials as well as making sure the front-wheel alignment and rear wheel and motor mount makes for as little resistance as possible,” Corrigan said.

Both cars were able to surpass the 30-lap mark; however, the most successful vehicle was able to complete 44 laps and earn second place. The vehicle was driven by junior Albi Simeone and senior Cole Lilijedhl who were selected from the Vehicle Design class. Simeone attests his success to his new passion for Formula 1(F1) and racing.

“Through following this year’s F1 season I was able to identify and create a strategy to make my driving successful,” Simeone said.

The classes most recent performance was a new record for the high school team, beating the previous record by two laps. Corrigan looked back to past experiences to help guide the team towards a successful 2019 campaign.

“We have had many learning experiences through our successes and failures as a team and look forward to constant improvement in design and construction,” Corrigan said.

Looking forward to the spring competition, the class will look to improve upon their success by applying skills learned in class in addition to experience gained on the track.