Platteville competes at Clean Snowmobile Challenge

April 9, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE-The University of Wisconsin-Platteville engineering club, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), sent 14 students to participate in the Clean Snowmobile Challenge March 19-23 in Houghton, Mich. The purpose of the challenge is to reengineer a stock snowmobile and reduce emissions and noise while retaining or improving performance.

This was the fourth year the challenge was held and the second year UWP competed there. There were 12 teams that competed in the 60-mile endurance test, which involved temperatures in the high 30s and rain. Out of the 12 teams, seven completed the endurance run, including UWP.

"We're thrilled that seven competitors passed the endurance event in these challenging conditions," event organizer Jay Meldrum said.

SAE members worked on their snowmobile since the beginning of the collegiate year to get it ready for the competition. UWP placed eigth in this year's completion, and received a plaque for the snowmobile with the best acceleration overall and scored high in the handling competition.

"We were a strong competitor throughout the competition, but then the Cadillac converter fell off, which hurt our emissions and place in the overall standings," said Jonathan Copeland, co-captain, and vice president of SAE.

The SAE members are already preparing for next year's competition. "We had a lot of fun, and it was a lot of work." Secretary of SAE Dan Bell said, "The knowledge we learned from this competition helped us understand what needs to be improved for next year."

Currently SAE members are updating the snowmobile and getting it ready for next year. The snowmobile will be on display for the public at Midwest Motor Sports in Kieler from April 14-18.

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