Iowa State University

Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917



Sunrayce is an ongoing educational program that culminates every two years with a cross- country race of solar powered cars. The race is open to colleges, universities, trade schools and other post- secondary educational institutions. There were nearly 70 entries for Sunrayce 97.


Sunrayce 97 will be held June 19-28, 1997, and will coincide with the week of the summer solstice.


The race begins in Indianapolis and will end 1,230 miles (1,980 km) away in Colorado Springs, Colo. Cities along the way include Terre Haute, Ind., Lee's Summit, Mo., Manhattan, Kan., and St. Francis, Kan.


The theme of Sunrayce 97 is teamwork for a brighter future.


There are 40 racing slots for Sunrayce 97. Twenty-four teams qualified for the race during prequalifiers and 16 spots remain open for Sunrayce 97. Teams that have qualified for Sunrayce 97 are:

Auburn University

California State, Los Angeles

Columbus State Community College

George Washington University

Kansas State University

Mankato & Winona State Universities

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

New Mexico Institute of Technology

Purdue University

Queen's University

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Stanford University

Texas A&M

University of Illinois

University of Michigan

University of Minnesota

University of Missouri, Columbia

University of Missouri, Rolla

University of Pennsylvania

University of Waterloo

University of Western Ontario

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Western Michigan University

Yale University


U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors Corp., and EDS.


Sunrayce 97 is an nine-day race with a one-day rest stop (in Lee's Summit, Mo.), and covers about 1,230 miles (average daily distance of 137 miles). The cars will race during daylight hours (10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., local time) and will gather at a common stopping point each night.

The winner of the race is the car with the lowest cumulative elapsed time in completing the entire official race course.

Sunlight is the only external source of power allowed for propulsion.

Only commercially available solar cells and lead- acid batteries can be used. Battery weight is limited to 310 lbs. (140 kg).

Seat belts, a horn, turn indicators, brake lights, and a rear-view mirror must be functional for safety.

All rules of the road -- including speed limits, stop signs and lights, and yield signs -- must be obeyed.


A final qualifier will be held June 15-17, 1997, at the Indianapolis Raceway Park preceding the race. There are 32 teams vying for the remaining 16 open racing slots.

Iowa State:

In the 1990 Sunrayce, Iowa State finished 17th in a field of 32 cars. In 1993, ISU finished 10th in a field of 36 cars. In 1995, ISU finished 19th in a field of 38 cars. The University of Michigan won Sunrayce 90 and Sunrayce 93, and MIT won Sunrayce 95.


Official standings and updates on the race will be posted on the web at ISU News Service will provide daily information about Team PrISUm during the race.

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