Annette Hacker, director,
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Mike Krapfl, News Service, (515) 294-4917
Fusion has its best day on the road
AMES, Iowa -- Racing a few miles through northwest Iowa was good for Iowa State University's solar car on Wednesday.
Fusion covered 331 miles from Holton, Kan., to Sioux Falls, S.D., during day four of the North American Solar Challenge. That was Team PrISUm's best day on the road so far.
Under sunny skies the car was able to maintain a steady 40-45 mph all day, said Jared Leonard, a member of the solar car team and a junior from Hermosa, S.D., who's studying computer engineering.
Team PrISUm had to stop a few times to fix minor electrical problems. But Leonard said the longest stop was about eight minutes. And he said a problem with the brakes locking up on Tuesday wasn't repeated Wednesday.
Leonard also said it was great to drive the car into Iowa for a 30-minute run from Sioux City to Akron.
"Iowa has a lot better roads than Nebraska does," he said. "And crossing into South Dakota there were cracks and bumps everywhere."
Fusion's competitors weren't bothered by the bumps, though. Iowa State was the 12th team to reach the Sioux Falls checkpoint, falling to fourth in the race's stock class. Fusion is now chasing stock-class cars from the University of California Berkeley, Auburn University and Stanford University. The Berkeley car is about one hour ahead of Fusion.
The University of Minnesota, competing in the more powerful open class, is the race's overall leader.
Team PrISUm's goal for today's racing is to cover another 250 miles and get somewhere past the checkpoint in Fargo, N.D.
The North American Solar Challenge is a 2,500-mile race from Austin, Texas, to Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Twenty university teams started the race on Sunday. Thirteen cars had made it to the Sioux Falls checkpoint by Wednesday.
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Brian Scrimager, a communications specialist with Iowa State's College of Engineering, is joining Team PrISUm on the road. Read his eblog.
"Iowa has a lot better roads than Nebraska does. And crossing into South Dakota there were cracks and bumps everywhere."