Alden-Conger supermileage team heading to India

Published 6:41 pm Friday, April 21, 2023

The Alden-Conger supermileage team is headed to India.

According to Amy Wallin, co-advisor for the supermileage team, the program is for students interested in hands-on car building while creating a vehicle with great mileage.

That means using the least amount of energy, whether electric, gas, ethanol or diesel. Cars should also have light, strong frames and bodies that are aerodynamic.

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The team earned their spot after last weekend’s competition in Indianapolis, where they placed fourth in the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas Regional Championship in the Urban Concept division, and competed against teams from Canada, Mexico, Brazil and others from North and South America.

Their Internal Combustion Engine car placed third out of 10 total cars, though only eight passed their tech inspection, and seven managed to complete a run. Their car managed to go 510 miles per gallon (by comparison, the first place car from Saskatchewan Polytechnic went 811 miles per gallon).

After getting past tech inspection, they placed seventh out of 25 in the electric car category. Four never passed their inspection, while nine more couldn’t complete a lap at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Before focusing on the world championships, the team has their state competition at Brainerd International Raceway in May.

“We’re going to be busy getting cars ready for that,” Wallin said.

“A lot of the students that participate in the program in the past had been students who maybe weren’t as into sports and things,” she said, noting that students were required to put in a certain number of hours in while also getting sponsorships.

Shell will pay for 10 team members, meaning the team will have to pay its own way for three members (including advisers). Currently the team doesn’t have a cost estimate for how much money the team will need to raise.

“We did not have a problem the first time the team went to London,” she said, noting they plan to do fundraising during Morin Lake Days June 16 to 17. They’ll be serving meals for the American Legion.

Anyone interested in helping can contact Wallin at or call 507-874-3240.

William Jacobs, an 11th grader and driver on the team, first participated when his brother Sam was on the team.

“I was speechless,” he said after learning the team advanced to the world championship.

Fellow junior Wesley Ohl, who does welding, joined last year.

“I’ve always liked working with things hands-on,” he said. “I like working with metal and machinery, so I figured it would be something that would be neat to try.”

Sophomore Alex Miller has been around the supermileage team since fifth grade when his older brother Derek participated.

His experience mirrors Derek’s, and he said his brother’s teams were just as successful as his are.

“They ended up going to London [for the world championship],” he said.

His role is to talk to the team drivers.

While students are eligible to participate from seventh grade up, this year’s team consists of 10 students ranging from eighth through 11th grade.

According to Wallin, the supermileage team at Alden-Conger started in the early ’90s, with the last time competing in the world championships in 2019. There wasn’t a world championship last year.

This year’s world competition is in Bengalaru Oct. 12 to 14. Twelve teams will compete, four from the Americas, four from Asia and four from Europe. There will be a mileage challenge and a timed trial. The top eight teams will race in the final.

Wallin said their goal was to get through tech inspection, while a secondary goal was placing in the top eight and going to the final.