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Electric car race highlights high-tech handiwork

The sixth annual Emerald Coast Electrathon Classic 120 race Saturday at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola will feature electric car race teams from area colleges and high schools.
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(Photo: Bruce Graner/bgraner@pnj.com )
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The roar — make that quiet whir — of 20 electric race cars will put their batteries to the test at the sixth annual Emerald Coast Electrathon Classic 120 race Saturday at Five Flags Speedway off Pine Forest Road in Pensacola.

High school and college teams will be competing in the race with electric vehicles they have built from a kit.

The vehicles have to pass a pre-race inspection that includes safety features before they race in two different 60-minute heats to see how many laps they can complete on a charged battery.

The Gulf Power Engineering Society, Five Flags Speedway, Pensacola State College, Skills-USA of Florida, ASHRAE Northwest Florida Chapter and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers sponsor the event, which is supported by the Florida Emerald Coast Clean Cities Coalition, an organization that promotes alternative fuel initiatives in Northwest Florida.

“We’re thrilled that this event has seen such growth and interest this year,” said Vaughn Nichols, a Gulf Power employee and the race promoter. “As of now, this is turning into the largest electrathon race event held on a speedway east of the Mississippi River.”
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