University of Michigan Solar Car Team Wins American Solar Challenge
The University of Michigan Solar Car Team extended its winning streak at the 2010 American Solar Challenge in Naperville, Illinois, defeating sixteen competitors in the long distance road rally. The win marked the team’s sixth first-place victory at the solar car race and its third year in a row earning first place.
The American Solar Challenge is a solar car race that encourages teams like the one from the University of Michigan to design, craft, and drive solar cars across the country in a timed long distance event. The 1100 mile course ran from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma to Naperville, starting June 20 and ending six days later.
The bright yellow University of Michigan Infinium is capable of traveling at 100 miles per hour, but traffic and a delay to repair rain damage allowed second-place University of Minnesota to stay in competitive range during the 6-day solar car race. The University of Michigan ended the race at 28 hours and 14 minutes, with the Minnesota solar car coming in at 30 hours and 26 minutes. A German team from Hochschule Bochum University of Applied Sciences finished third place in the solar car race, about ten minutes after Minnesota.
The North American Solar Challenge event alternates years with a European solar car race, the Global Green Challenge. The 2011 Global Green Challenge stretches from Darwin to Adelaide in Australia in October. Several US university teams, including the University of Michigan, are planning to compete.