Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

7-14-08

Contacts:

Luke Martz, PrISUm Solar Car Team, (563) 299-3977

Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778, tbarron@iastate.edu

All systems go for Iowa State's solar car day two of North American Solar Challenge

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University's solar car, Sol Invictus, ran without a hitch Monday, completing the second day of the North American Solar Challenge. The car averaged 40 mph on its 130-mile trip from Eufaula, Okla., to Neosho, Mo.

"It's a great day to be a solar car," said Luke Martz, Team PrISUm member. "The weather was the best solar car weather possible -- not a cloud in the sky, and not too hot for the drivers."

For the 2,400-mile cross-country race, Iowa State has two drivers: Erin Kelly, a junior in chemical engineering, and Matt Martin, a senior in aerospace engineering. Both are from Rochester, Minn.

"A driver can only drive for about four hours at a time because of the hot and uncomfortable conditions inside the car," Martz said.

Cruise control

But today Team PrISUm was able to upgrade the drivability of the car by getting the cruise control online and the dashboard controls functioning. That way the drivers can see how well the car is doing and how efficiently it's performing so their driving can respond to real-time information.

"Everything has gone smoothly today," Martz said. "Spirits are great!"

That means the team has no repair work on tap tonight -- only normal battery charging and maintenance.

"We're prepared to kick butt all the way to Canada," Martz said.

Alumni at the start line

At the race's starting line in Plano, Texas, on Sunday, Iowa State University alumni showed up in full force to demonstrate their support of Team PrISUm. Sol Invictus is ISU's ninth solar racing car since 1989.

"Lots of alumni came out to cheer us on. It was amazing how many," Martz said. "One even made a donation for food. We really appreciate all the support from Iowa State alums!"

Fifteen cars are competing in the North American Solar Challenge, which ends July 22 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The route takes the cars through Omaha, Neb., July 15-16, and Sioux Falls, S.D., July 16-18, crossing into western Iowa for about 30 miles north of Sioux City.

Because Team PrISUm was not able to complete all required qualifying laps before the race, Sol Invictus was allowed to enter the event under two conditions. Both conditions have been met, Martz said.

On Tuesday, the solar cars will continue traveling north toward Omaha with a checkpoint in Topeka, Kan.

North American Solar Challenge 2008 Route

Start LinePlano, TexasJuly 13
CheckpointMcAlester, OklahomaJuly 13
Stage StopNeosho, MissouriJuly 13-15
CheckpointTopeka, KansasJuly 15
CheckpointOmaha, NebraskaJuly 15-16
Stage StopSioux Falls, South DakotaJuly 16-18
CheckpointFargo, North DakotaJuly 18-19
Stage StopWinnipeg, ManitobaJuly 19-20
Checkpoint Brandon, ManitobaJuly 20
CheckpointRegina, SaskatchewanJuly 20-21
Stage StopMedicine Hat, AlbertaJuly 21-22
Finish LineCalgary, AlbertaJuly 22

Day 2

Iowa State's solar car, Sol Invictus, ran without a hitch today, completing the second day of the North American Solar Challenge. The car averaged 40 mph on its 130-mile trip from Eufaula, Okla., to Neosho, Mo. The team has no repair work on tap tonight -- only normal battery charging and maintenance. The North American Solar Challenge started in Plano, Texas, on Sunday, and will finish in Calgary, Alberta Canada on July 22. Fifteen cars are competing.

Race standings

PrISUm web site

Check the PrISUm site for more about the race and car.

Video

Quote

"It's a great day to be a solar car. The weather was the best solar car weather possible -- not a cloud in the sky, and not too hot for the drivers.

Luke Martz, Team PrISUm member