Momentum in Aruba, Day 2-3
Aruba surly has been excited about our presence. So far, we have been featured live on three radio shows, and have graced the front page of three daily newspapers (which may in fact be every newspaper in all of Aruba). The Diario (translated as the Daily Diary),even published a political cartoon featuring our solar car.
Following the press conference, the team was finally able to enjoy the island.We were treated to a lovely meal on a pier outstretched over the gentile rolling waves on the western coast of Aruba. Our new best friend, Sylvia, has put up with the four of us for the past few days, serving as our personal tour guide and taxi driver.We even had to dig her car out the sand on the beach, but don't tell her. Among the 300 plus motorcycles cruising the strip, we treated ourselves to some much needed relaxation time with the other college students who aren't just pretending they are on spring break.
The sun in Aruba is intense to say the least. We were able to charge all of MomentUM's batteries in record time during the morning of day three. The team spend most of the day displaying the car in Paseo Herencia. Hundreds of tourists and locals alike were amazed with the car and that we were all the way in Aruba promoting clean energy and the University of Michigan.
About 5 hours ago, we completed something that has never been done by a Michigan Solar Car:Race in a 1/4 mile drag race. Street racing is extremely popular in Aruba and tonight was "Street Legal" night at the track. We did get a strange look from the track officials when we pulled up with the solar car, but after a quick chat, they shut down all the racing to see Momentum Ripping down the track. OK, ripping may have been a poor word choice. I am proud to announce four records currently held by Momentum at Palomarta Dragstrip.
1. Fastest time every by a solar powered car.
2. First ever solar car on the track.
3. Most Fuel Efficient (no oil spilled, and no rubber left behind) car ever on the track.
and finally, the record we will be most remembered for...
4. Slowest Vehicle ever to complete a pass.
Our official numbers were 30.42 sec at 56.94 MPH and as far as we know, that is a world record.
Tomorrow the team plans on relaxing on the beach and cruising the island on some quad racers. Don't worry we won't forget the sunscreen.