Electricity in the air at Irwindale speedway

Irwindale, Calif. - - Check your kilowatts and get ready to make some sparks! (Just kidding!). But seriously …On Sunday, June 4, Irwindale Speedway will be the site of the very unique and very "high tech" ZEV 2000 Solar/Electric Challenge ...

Irwindale, Calif. - - Check your kilowatts and get ready to make some sparks! (Just kidding!). But seriously …On Sunday, June 4, Irwindale Speedway will be the site of the very unique and very "high tech" ZEV 2000 Solar/Electric Challenge sponsored by the South Coast AQMD, the ISAAQ, and the Speedway itself.

(Before we go much further maybe we should decipher the above "alphabet soup". ZEV stands for "Zero Emission Vehicle", AQMD stands for Air Quality Management District, and ISAAQ stands for Innovative Schools Advancing Air Quality, that said, we'll get on with the news.)

This event will pit teams of young students from surrounding high schools who have put together ZEV vehicles as class projects and who will compete with each other on the ½-Mile banked track at Irwindale Speedway. The object is to promote clean air transportation through engineering teamwork and innovation.

Competition between the schools is as natural on this level as it is in other sports. Each school's entry is built to a strict set of rules and regulations as to size, weight, and the total amount of batteries that it is allowed to carry.

Designing, engineering, and building the vehicle to run faster and longer on exactly the same amount of electricity as the other team has is the challenge. Making it just that little bit better than the other team's vehicle and driving just a little bit smarter than the other team's driver is the key to Victory Lane … Hey, isn't that what we do every Saturday night at the Speedway?

The races will take place from 10 am until 4 pm on Sunday, June 4. Admission to the event is free as is parking at the Speedway for this educational event.

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