U.S. Wins Longest Solar Car Race

The longest and most arduous solar-powered car race has been won by the most expensive car from the University of Michigan.

CLAREMONT, California, US, 2001-08-06 [SolarAccess.com] The longest and most arduous solar-powered car race has been won by the most expensive car from the University of Michigan. The million-dollar ‘M-Pulse’ completed the ten day, 2,247-mile American Solar Challenge race from Chicago to the college town of Claremont in California, in an accumulated time of 56 hours and 11 minutes. The University of Missouri team finished second, with a running time of 80 minutes longer. Canada’s University of Waterloo took third place, with another Canadian entry, the Queen’s University Solar Vehicle Team, making a comeback to finish in fourth spot. The 42 solar electric cars started driving on July 15, racing from 8 o’clock in the morning until 6 o’clock at night, and powered only by solar photovoltaic cells covering the upper surfaces of the single-driver machines. The race followed the historic Route 66, through Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. On flat stretches, the cars reached speeds of 70 mph, and the winning car averaged 40 mph over the 2,200 miles route. The race in 1999 was plagued with rain, and the winning speed of that event was 25 mph. Obstacles faced by the student solar car teams included navigating through city traffic, high speed interstate highway travel and the heat of deserts in Arizona and New Mexico, as well as climbing through the lower Rocky Mountains. The racers were from engineering colleges in the United States, Canada and England, with one entry from a high school in California and another from a racing club in Italy. The World Solar Challenge is held in Australia in November.
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