SYRACUSE — Twenty years of super mileage cars at Wawasee High School is a cause for celebration. After the Shell Eco-marathon competition April 3-6 at the Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., there is even more cause for celebration.
For the first time ever, Wawasee’s diesel super mileage car, known as the “Diesel Weasel” and the car entered by the Wawasee Gold Team, finished first in the Drivers World Championship regional qualifier Saturday, April 6, and earned the right to compete in the Drivers World Championship July 1-5 in London. The DWC was an actual race where the Wawasee diesel car competed against five other cars, including its own electric vehicle, to see which vehicle could travel the furthest on the least amount of energy.
The Drivers World Championship brings together the world’s best urban concept category teams to see who the world’s fastest energy-efficient driver is. And the winning team will be awarded an invitation to visit Scuderia Ferrari’s exclusive headquarters in Italy for a grand tour and to participate in workshops.
“What a way to celebrate (20 years of super mileage cars),” said an elated Allen Coblentz, an engineering teacher at the high school who oversees the super mileage cars. “This accomplishment is a tribute to the many students over the years who have contributed to help us get to where we are. I am really proud of this group of students who have put in many extra hours into making this accomplishment possible.” Paying attention to even little details also was a key factor, he added.
Before the regional qualifier, the “Diesel Weasel” finished first overall in the urban concept category and received the Internal Combustion Award. The car earned 680.7 miles per gallon, exceeding the goal of 675 mpg the team hoped to achieve. The second place car from Evansville Mater Dei High School had 586.5 miles per gallon.
This is not the first time Wawasee has had a super mileage car finish in first place in one of the categories, but this time it happened in a larger category against more cars.
Also at the Shell Eco-marathon in the urban category, Wawasee White’s electric car, entered for the first time in the competition, finished in second place with 64.2 kilowatts per hour behind Mater Dei’s 68.2 kilowatts per hour. Wawasee will compete again against Mater Dei in the DWC in London.