Ready, set – green! When drivers in the La Carerra Pan Americana, a Mexican road race, rev their engines, shift gears and peel tire, one HWS-driven team will be showing how to take the lead with an eco-friendly vehicle.
Alum Kip Moncrief ’06 along with racing team member Mike DeVine are entered in the race set for this October. Their racing team, SolShine Alternatives, will be the first team in history competing in a race car that runs on grease.
Crossing the country, the team will drive a converted 1950 Mercedes 190 Diesel from New Haven, Conn. to the race in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico. Along the way, the car, named “Rudi,” will be fueled by waste vegetable oil. A second grease car, carrying fuel, supplies and a documentary film crew will follow the team.
As they race, the team hopes to enlighten the public about alternative fuels and showcase the possibility that racers will be able to competitively drive and go green in the future.
“I’ve grown up doing the most racing I could afford,” Moncrief said. “Now, with the cost at the pump and also to the environment, we need to find a way to keep our sport alive,”
He went on to explain that, “Racing is a bug I caught a long time ago. I plan on racing until the day I die; but I also believe things need to change in the automotive industry and our own personal consumption patterns for the sport to survive.”
After graduating from HWS with a major in economics and a Latin American Studies minor, Moncrief became the Manager of Operations for Connecticut BioFuels, the largest waste oil collectors and distributors in Connecticut.
While on campus, Moncrief was a member of Sigma Phi and studied abroad in Ecuador. He is also a member of the Sports Car Club of America and a lifelong auto sports enthusiast, racing on road courses like Watkins Glen and Lime Rock. During the off season, Moncrief ice races cars with the Adirondack Motor Enthusiast Club on lakes throughout upstate New York.
The chance for Moncrief to race was given to him by SolShine Alternatives, a not-for-profit organization in Connecticut dedicated to educating the public about alternative energy and the variety of options for a more sustainable society.
For more information, visit www.solshinealternatives.org.