SAN BENITO —As the competition continues to draw near, San Benito High School automotive technology students Caroline Hernandez and Erika Caxhanteje have been adding final touches to their team’s custom-built electric car named Pinky in preparation for their big race.
Two teams of students from San Benito High School’s Automotive Technology course and other Valley students will compete in the Murphy 2.1 Race set for Saturday, Jan. 26 at 10 a.m. in the San Benito Bobby Morrow Stadium Parking Lot.
The competition consists of a series of 90-minute races with pit changes and is aimed toward helping students gain experience and insight on sustainable engineering.
Hernandez and Caxhanteje’s team is the only all-girls race team in the Valley.
“It’s awesome because usually people only think guys are going to drive at the races, but then they see girls,” Caxhanteje explained. “So, it changes their perspective of things and helps girls think ‘Wow, I can do this too.”’
Hernandez said she has always liked participating in “male-dominate fields” and encourages girls to try activities they’re interested in even if it might be out of their comfort zone.
“I am a power lifter, I race, and I want to be a future mechanic so being told you’re a girl and you’re not supposed to do that inspired me to do the stuff you normally don’t see girls do,” Hernandez said.
San Benito High School Automotive Instructor Meliton Hinojosa said his students plan to compete in more races in Brownsville, Georgia and Alabama.
He believes the races provide a great opportunity for students to apply what they learn in the course in a fun way.
“When the students in the course graduate and decide to go into the automotive field, they can either work in a dealership or they can go to post-secondary college,” Meliton explained. “So, they’ll have a good foundation and will be ahead of the game.”
MEET THE TEAM
Senior Angela Padilla, Crew Leader/Pit Crew
Senior Allison Ramirez, Driver/Pit Crew
Senior Brenda Ramirez, Driver/Pit Crew
Junior Erika Caxhanteje, Driver/Pit Crew
Junior Caroline Hernandez, Driver/Pit Crew
IF YOU GO
WHAT — Murphy 2.1 Race
WHEN — Saturday, Jan. 26 at 10 a.m.
WHERE — Bobby Morrow Stadium Parking Lot, 2025 La Palma Street, San Benito
COST — Free