FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Irvine, CA (August 25, 2004) – After weeks of design work, engineering and testing the Volvo Extreme Gravity Car finally got the chance to go head-to-head against competition from five other major design studios. The results: Grand Prize for design, 3rd place overall, a strong showing considering it was Volvo's first attempt at the fourth annual charity race to benefit foster children.
"I'm very pleased with how the car performed," commented Volvo Strategic Design Chief Doug Frasher, creator of the Volvo Extreme Gravity Car. "Our design was unconventional, to say the least, so we knew we were breaking a lot of the conventional wisdom of soap-box-derby racing."
Grudge-match-style qualifying races allowed the Volvo to outrun the entries from Nissan, Bentley and Mazda. "We noticed that our car was always first to the bottom of the ramp, and were excited by this hint that our design has some great potential," said Frasher.
The transition point between the ramp and street, however, subjected the car to repeated impacts. In a move to ensure safety, team Volvo removed all 45 pounds of ballast from the vehicle's rear section to minimize the risk of breaking something critical at the bottom of the ramp. Even so, there were increasing signs of stress on the car after each race and action in the Volvo pits was intense.
In the end, the entry from General Motors took the checkered flag with the Volvo taking home the "Best Design" award. "We were thrilled to be the recipient of the Best Design award since it was judged by our fellow competitors," noted Frasher. "Overall, we loved the event. It was a fun day of racing and the seeing the expressions on the faces on the kids during their races made the whole effort worthwhile."
The Extreme Gravity Competition, founded by Don MacAllister of America Works for Kids, is a charitable event that raises money for foster children to help them become independent, working young men and women in the community. Additionally, through Gravity Series, Inc., foster children will gain valuable, paid work experience as they become involved in all aspects of the event.
"We are developing the most exciting extreme gravity racing series in the world and really appreciate the support of these professional car design teams,” said MacAllister. “A portion of proceeds from the sale of each team’s original design renderings, as well as racing merchandise will be donated to support inspirational training workshops for foster kids."
Volvo is already preparing for next year. "We have another car that's already in development," Frasher said. "And I think we'll see the checkered flag in 2005."
Volvo Cars of North America, LLC
The Gravity Series, Inc.
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