Concept Vehicle Racing Team Revs up In Houston

HOUSTON, TEXAS-- The Newburgh Free Academy Concept Vehicle Racing Team "NFA CVRT" returned to Houston, Texas on April 3, 2013 to compete with their two battery-electric vehicles at the Shell Eco-Marathon. "The goal of the Shell Eco-Marathon is to develop and race concept vehicles. For the past seven years, teams from all of North and South America have competed to determine who can construct a vehicle with the best fuel economy," said Aleksandra Morehead, manager of NFA's prototype car. Morehead will be attending Harvard University this fall.

"What I think is particularly great about the competition is the way that everyone is so passionate about their field of study, and how they are using it to make the world a better place," said Morehead. The Shell Eco-Marathon has participants from all walks of life, from high school students hailing from Canada, to college students from Brazil. When the competition began just seven years ago, there were only nineteen cars in the race. This year, the event has swelled to over 135 cars from all over the Americas.

Said Morehead, "NFA has been working extremely hard this year. Last year, NFA won first place in the Solar Prototype division, beating out colleges such as Penn State, Purdue and Louisiana Tech. Unfortunately, the solar division has been eliminated. In an added twist, this year, we have gone in a new direction; we've entered the Urban Concept division, which is larger and more complex."

"The challenges are many, especially in such a new area for us, but I think that our team will persevere," said Benjamin Siper, NFA Senior and manager of their Urban Concept car. "Prototype cars are strictly concept vehicles, that is they are not generally road worthy," said Siper. "The Urban Class has to adhere to much stricter safety and design standards. The 18 member Houston crew will be competing through Sunday morning, and hopefully, come home with a trophy."

Written by: Connor Schafer, Member of NFA CVRT Team, Class of 2013

Photo Credit: Victor Valle