Although I’m more of a Mini Cooper girl, the superhero design of the electric car built by high school students at the DeLaSalle Education Center’s Automotive Design Studio in Kansas City, Mo., has almost changed my mind.
The car is on display at the Firestone exhibit at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway through May 30 – not far from the Yard of Bricks.
The project’s goal is to show how simplicity and lightweight construction can impact performance and energy efficiency. Although its maximum speed is only 60 miles per hour, the electric car is equipped with high-performance Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 Wide Oval tires.
Marty Yurjevich and Jon Stuckey are two tire professionals that came to DeLaSalle to assist the students.
“After working with the school for the past couple of months, I can assure you we are taking away more than we have given to this project,” Yurjevich said. “Meeting and working with the students and mentors has been a very rewarding experience, and it is a rare occasion to utilize some of our consumer-based products for a community outreach project that not only enriches the lives of at-risk young adults, but also offers positive environmental impact. We are thrilled to offer display space at Indy to get these messages out to a wider audience.”
The electric car project has allowed the students at DeLaSalle to experience racing up close and personal. The students were invited to be guests at the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Motor Speedway, and for their car to be displayed during the Month of May at IMS.
Mario Ramirez, a newly graduated member of the engineering team, summed it up well by saying, “It blows me away that we as a bunch of high school kids have a car that we have made put on display 20 feet from a sign that reads ‘Gasoline Alley’ at the most important race in the world — the Indy 500.”
Maybe the electric car will be on highways soon, but one thing for sure is the high school students who engineered this car will be the stars of the future.