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Is anybody else here keeping up with the solar car race?

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TNDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 06:25 PM
Original message
Is anybody else here keeping up with the solar car race?
I have never been a race fan of any kind but my son is on one of the teams and I have gotten completely hooked on this one. I keep up with the site every day to see what is happening with the teams. They have had so many unusual things to deal with and I get the full story when I talk to my son (what did we do before cell phones??). They are racing between Chicago and LA and are around Flagstaff, AZ now. They will finish up in Claremont, CA on Wednesday. If anyone sees any good coverage of this let me know as I am trying to keep up with the media coverage. I love the picture of all the cars on the track. It looks like an alien invasion. Here's the website if anyone is interested:

www.americansolarchallenge.org
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Elidor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
1. That is so cool!
I'd love to do something like that!
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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
2. The HS portion is coming through my part of FL
on the last leg I believe this week...
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orangecoloredapple Donating Member (290 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
3. They came through Tucumcari Friday
very cool, but not for the drivers I understand. No air conditioning?
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TNDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Yes, and I want to thank New Mexico for their hospitality.
They made pizza and cookies in the solar ovens for the racers and I think it was the University of New Mexico that did some things for them too. I asked my son about the two drivers (they have to be the shortest members - my son is too tall to drive) and he said it was not too bad when they were moving - that as long as they were going a reasonable speed they were okay. There was a scary incident for them in New Mexico. There was a strong cross wind and a semi went by and blew the entire top off of the solar car. Luckily it hit the roll bar and missed the driver (could have been very serious). Both driver and top shell were okay with not even a broken solar cell. I will get the full story when he gets home but it sounds like other than the scary part they have had a good time in New Mexico.
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Hi orangecoloredapple!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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northofdenali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
5. The simple fact that these are high-school kids
is, in and of itself, a reason to cheer. Congrats BIG TIME to your son, TNDemo - that is one intelligent kid who is bound to be a huge success.

Another race ends this coming week in Cocoa, Florida about 8 miles from my mom's house in Merritt Island, where I grew up. I have a friend in the Tampa area who is involved in solar-car research, and he called with news about these terrific kids - he thinks they ARE the future! News of this race is at the Florida Today paper:

http://www.floridatoday.com/!NEWSROOM/localstoryA6432A....

Rock on, kids! Show us the future!! :bounce:
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2548HR Donating Member (588 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
7. yes ,arriving here in cocoa today
they will finish up at the solar center at Brevard community college. We live right near, and will try to be there, my husband is very much into solar energy. Attend many seminars there.
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Briarius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
8. what team?
I did the race two years ago and it was really cool!
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TNDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Are you talking to me?
I wasn't sure since the high school teams were being talked about to. My son is on the UC Berkeley team. They won't win - about 3/4 down in the rankings - but they have had a great time. U of KY came to their rescue on the first day when Berkeley's (CalSol) engine completely locked up (manufacturer error, I hear) and since KY did not qualify they just gave them their engine for the race. Yale has jumped in to give parts to Stanford since Yale did not qualify and Stanford's car actually caught on fire. There is evidently great comraderie between the teams.

What team did you race with? Are you going to do it again?
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Briarius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. yea, I was
I never did the high school one..but you're totally right about the comraderie. Pretty much every team was extremely friendly and willing to help each other out. I was on Rose-Hulman's Solar Phantom team. Unfortunately I won't be racing again as our team has lost funding and has folded. That and I'll be graduating this year. But it was a lot of fun and I miss it. At least I can say that I did it, and did well at it to boot!
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TNDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-03 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Ooh, the "F" word.
Funding - or lack of it - is a huge issue for the Berkeley team. They have basically none. The kids themselves have paid the gas for the lead and trail cars and all their own expenses. They were hoping for a win in order to get some sponsorship. They are in the stock category because they couldn't afford the cost of the more expensive solar engine. All companies seem to be having a cash flow issue right now. I hope something lets loose so they can do the next race.

I am going to have to go look at the 2001 race. I have seen websites about it but I was always trying to find out something about this year's and didn't read it. Glad you got a chance to do the race. Maybe you can do it in 2003. I know of the guys on my son's team graduated last year but he just wanted to come back and do it.

Today is race finale day! 11:00 at Claremont, California. My husband flew out there yesterday. He just couldn't stand being here while all the cars were there!
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