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Bradley Hilltopics

Fall 2008 • Volume 14, Issue 4  

Web Exclusives
President’s op-ed on underage drinking | Why an Aston Martin? | Luxury car | Harry the bowling robot | Baseball at Wrigley | Slideshows: KRISTIN KAYE ’11 gymnast; BU bowling; 1967 Aston Martin DB6; World of Wonder; works of MARY MATHIAS, MFA ’05 and NANA EKOW MAISON, MFA ’04 | Audio: DON LADAS ’54, WJOL broadcaster | 

 

The Great Race

The 2008 Great Race was to be a replica of the 1908 original — a 22,000-mile cross-continental race from New York to Paris. While the first race was meant to prove the reliability of the automobile, McKone said his goal is to prove the reliability of alternative fuels.

“I wanted to make a statement along with Bradley — and hopefully this project will give Bradley some name recognition — and run a car on ethanol, which we’re kind of interested in because we live in the middle of a bunch of cornfields,” McKone said. “We also wanted to make a statement that any car can be converted to ethanol, and since this is an Aston Martin, we thought it might give it a little more publicity.”

McKone chose the Aston Martin after Great Race organizers weren’t interested in his 1936 Ford for a race they planned to promote and produce a documentary. “I decided if they won’t let me in with an Aston Martin, they won’t let me in with anything,” McKone said. “So I found one in Philadelphia through a friend that’s from the Great Race. I called them up and said, ‘I assume an Aston Martin is OK?’ They said, ‘Welcome to New York to Paris.’ They’re excited about the car for publicity.”

The exposure may be extended. The race was postponed in May because of complications with China. With the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the riots in Tibet, the Chinese government was restricting visitors. McKone said the earthquake in China would have postponed the race anyway. Still, the system created and installed by Team 6 will be used in 2009.

The Great Race isn’t the typical first-to-the-finish-line-wins race. Instead, it’s a timed-precision driving test. Organizers map out a course and provide specific instructions to each team, consisting of a driver and navigator. Those instructions include the speed of the car in and out of turns and on straight paths. The teams are also told how long they should stop at a stop sign. If the car’s speed increases or decreases at any time and the driver doesn’t recognize it, the team’s numbers will be skewed and alter their expected finish time. Inside the car, teams are limited to few instruments. They have a pencil, paper, stopwatch, clock, and a speedometer. No calculators, computers or odometers are allowed. The team that finishes closest to the time organizers say the course should take is the winner. “We have to mimic what they tell us to do exactly,” said McKone, who has been in 18 Great Races and runs in four to seven time-precision-driving races each year. “So they know exactly what time we’re going to cross the check point based on how precisely we mimic their route instructions.”

 

What’s next for Team 6?

CHRISTOPHER MASSEY ‘08 started at Caterpillar, Inc. after graduation.

CHRIS MATERA ‘08 is employed by a Naperville-based oil and gas company.

KENJI OMUJA ‘08 returned to Japan after graduation to work for his father’s computer parts company.

JARED ABRY ‘08 graduates in December.

 

President’s op-ed on underage drinking | Why an Aston Martin? | Luxury car | Harry the bowling robot | Baseball at Wrigley | Slideshows: KRISTIN KAYE ’11 gymnast; BU bowling; 1967 Aston Martin DB6; World of Wonder; works of MARY MATHIAS, MFA ’05 and NANA EKOW MAISON, MFA ’04 | Audio: DON LADAS ’54, WJOL broadcaster |