University of Michigan wins solar car challenge
The North American Solar Car Challenge, sponsored by SolarWorld AG and Toyota, is a 2400 mile race stretching from Plano, Texas to Calgary, Canada. Each car must be solely solar powered, no fossil fuel engines allowed. The University of Michigan took the checkered flag ahead of 14 other teams, even after receiving a 20 minute speeding penalty. "When we go downhill and when the wind hits you from the tail, it accelerates your car and we did not brake fast enough," explained Jeff Ferman, Michigan team leader.
Twenty-five teams in the race left Plano, Texas on July 13 and the race concluded with 15 teams at the University of Calgary on July 22. Over 10,000 spectators lined the roads to watch these sleek, aerodynamic cars glide by.
Michigan’s solar car averaged 45 mph, leading the entire race. The car crossed the finish line over 9hrs ahead of the closest competitor (Principia College). This marks The University of Michigan’s fifth win in nine races.