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Nick Mohr, Team PrISUm, (515) 451-5630
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University's solar car team, Team PrISUm, got a big lift from another school during the third day of racing in the American Solar Challenge.

Team PrISUm's power trackers, electronic devices that optimize the power from the solar array, broke down keeping the car off the road. But the ISU students got a significant boost when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology team lent ISU its spare trackers.

The ISU team subsequently made it from Rolla, Mo., to Neosho, Mo, a distance of 185 miles of rolling hills in day 3 of the ASC -- a pretty good day of racing given the team didn't get on the road until about 11 a.m.

"We've struggled with our trackers through the first part of the race," said Nick Mohr, director of Team PrISUm. "We saw that they were basically inoperable this morning, so getting trackers from another team provided a big lift. It really shows the spirit of solar car racing."

Mohr added that the ISU team plans to travel as far as it can each of the next several days of the race, trying to make up ground. Without any mandatory overnight stops for the teams until Barstow, Calif., July 24, race strategy will focus on optimizing sunlight as the teams trek across Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

For official team standings go to www.formulasun.org/asc. To view where teams are on the race route, go to www.formulasun.org/asc/tracking/index.html. Team PrISUm also is charting its own progress and posting it on its web site, www.prisum.iastate.edu/asc/#map.

The American Solar Challenge, a 2,300-mile race is being held July 15-25. It is the longest solar car race ever attempted. The race course will follow along portions of old Route 66.

The American Solar Challenge is designed to advance renewable energy and electric vehicle technologies, promote educational and engineering excellence, encourage environmental consciousness and teach teamwork. This is the sixth major solar car race Iowa State students have participated in since 1990.


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