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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, had an abundance of sunshine in the seventh day of the American Solar Challenge. The team drove its Odyssey car from Santa Rosa to Grants, N.M., a distance of approximately 180 miles. Grants is about 80 miles west of Albuquerque.

"We really had no problems with the car today, it was pretty smooth sailing and we made it up the hills and into Albuquerque by early afternoon," said Nick Mohr, director of Team PrISUm. "The car is running great and we've had a lot of sunshine, which helps because we can run the car almost solely on the energy from the solar array and only use a minimal amount of battery power."

Mohr said the team would try to cover as much ground as possible in tomorrow's racing, which includes crossing the Continental Divide.

"We aren't sure how far we'll make it because we'll traverse some hilly and mountainous terrain," he said. "It will be a good test for the car and for the team."

As of 7 p.m. (CST) the cars that have made it the furthest are University of Michigan (just outside of Barstow, Calif.), Queens University (near Ash Hill, Calif.) and University of Missouri-Rolla (near Essex, Calif.). All teams must meet in Barstow, Calif., by Tuesday evening for a staged final leg of the race from Barstow to Claremont, Calif., on Wednesday.

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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