Annette Hacker, director,
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Mike Krapfl, News Service, (515) 294-4917
Fusion is first
Iowa State University's solar race car finished the first day of the North American Solar Challenge first in its class.
Fusion, Iowa State's student-built and raced solar car, finished the 212.1-mile leg from Austin, Texas, to Weatherford, Texas, in 5 hours 7 minutes and 47 seconds. Iowa State's solar car was 6 minutes faster than the car from Auburn University, the closest challenger in the stock class. Fusion was seventh overall, trailing cars racing in the more-powerful open class.
Today the cars are racing under partly sunny skies. The goal for the day is "to get as far as we can," said Amanda Helgeson, a member of Iowa State's solar car team and a senior from Rochester, Minn., who's studying mechanical engineering.
The North American Solar Challenge is taking 20 student-built solar cars on a 2,500-mile race from Austin to Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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Fusion has a 6-minute lead on its closest competitor in the stock class.