Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tuesday July 3, 2012

Welcome to all our readers! This blog is the beginning of the race blog for the American Solar Challenge 2012. The WMU solar car team this morning had a photo session for team and individual member pictures with the solar car. The local television channel WWMT was on hand to take some videos for the news later today. There were interviews of team members by Ursula Zerilli of MLIVE and the Kalamazoo Gazette and our team leader was interviewed on live radio by a Grand Rapids radio station. The team members are putting the final tweaks on the car before departing for Monticello, New York on Thursday July 5. The team will spend six days in Monticello, NY at the Monticello Raceway going through three days of scrutineering where the car is inspected by electrical and mechanical engineers for adherence to safety regulations and will go through dynamic testing before the car is allowed to enter the track. Scrutineering will be followed by three days of track racing, the Formula Sun Grand Prix portion of the event. On July 13 solar car teams will travel to Rochester, New York, display the cars for the remainder of the day and prepare for the start of the cross-country rally, The American Solar Challenge. On Saturday morning, July 14, solar car teams will leave on the start of the race at 9:00 am at one minute intervals. At the end of the first day, all teams need to reach the stage stop at Erie, Pennsylvania. Restarting on July 15, teams must reach the Mansfield, Ohio checkpoint before the end of the day. They are allowed to continue after the mandatory one hour stop and drive until 6:00 pm when they must find a place to stay overnight and resume racing the following morning at 9:00 am from the point at which they stopped driving the night before. At the end of the day all the teams should arrive in Ann Arbor, Michigan. From Ann Arbor, the route will take solar teams through Lansing on the way to the Kalamazoo checkpoint at the WMU College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The checkpoint event is open to the public and provides the opportunity to view solar cars from all the teams and talk to team members. After the Kalamazoo checkpoint, the route heads toward Normal, Illinois. Teams must arrive at the Normal, Ill stage stop by the evening of July 18. On July 19 the race resumes and follows the route to a checkpoint in Verona, Wisconsin. The route continues from here to LaCrosse, Wisconsin for a stage stop that all teams much reach by the end of July 20. July 21 marks the last day of racing with a finish at the capitol building in St. Paul, Minnesota. Submitted by Abraham Poot, Advisor