Friday, July 18, 2008


We are arriving in Fargo!  Quite a few people and media are here to greet us.

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Anonymous Jennifer Wegner said...

Congrats to the team for reaching Fargo. I hope today's ride was smooth, uneventful and incredibly successful! Go Blue!

July 18, 2008 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Furqan Nazeeri said...

And hopefully the penalty gremlins have been exorcised!

July 18, 2008 at 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great is principia doing?

Bob Hayes

July 18, 2008 at 4:35 PM  
Anonymous shawn gabel said...

274miles/6h = 45.7 mph not too where is Principia?

July 18, 2008 at 5:28 PM  
Blogger TC Lambert said...

Charles Eichorst reports Michigan made it to Fargo 13 minutes ahead of Principia. I don't know Charles, but I want to believe him.

Whatever the penalty was (and apparently the 90 minutes was assessed for just one infraction), the Michigan team knows what it was and won't let it happen again. I do know the Crew Chief, and he'll be watching for it.

July 18, 2008 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger TC Lambert said...

I'm sorry, it's Charles Eichhorst. I owe him an 'h'

July 18, 2008 at 5:32 PM  
Blogger Charles Eichhorst said...

Maybe I should have introduced myself earlier. I've been on the team since 2006, and currently working on designs for the 2009 car. I'm getting my information from the chat tool the team uses, so I usually have access to more information than is posted to the blog.

On a side note, I did have a chance to meet TC Lambert at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show, although I can't blame him for not remembering since I don't know why I remember that.

July 18, 2008 at 5:50 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Way to go team, great job bouncing back. Good luck with the border crossing tomorrow, hopefully everybody's got their passports ready! Also, I seem to recall the mosquitos being as large as birds up there, break out the OFF!

July 18, 2008 at 6:28 PM  
Blogger Michael Adams said...

The mosquitoes weren't THAT bad. We just made the decision to camp near large bodies of standing water. Great for charging...bad for mosquitoes. Success always has its price....

July 18, 2008 at 6:33 PM  
Anonymous jim huisman said...

We are cheering you on from a BHPBilliton diamond mine in the Canadian far north. Keep the updates coming!

July 18, 2008 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger TC Lambert said...

It's 8:30. Does anyone know where are children are?

July 18, 2008 at 8:26 PM  
Blogger Wisniewski said...

Charles, you were the dynamometer guru..before it was retired..right?

As of Fargo, the estimated Continuum overall lead is 32 to 33 minutes. How does that compare to the battle with Minnesota in 2005?

July 18, 2008 at 8:30 PM  
Blogger TC Lambert said...

Well, now, young 'un, back in ought five, Minnesota was ahead at this point. And MIT was second. Michigan caught 'em and passed 'em on the windy plains of Canada.

July 18, 2008 at 8:36 PM  
Blogger Charles Eichhorst said...

I don't have an exact location, but it looks like they ended up somewhere around Grand Forks, ND

July 18, 2008 at 8:36 PM  
Blogger Don said...

To be more specific, (if I remember correctly) in 2005 we were behind Minnesota by about half an hour at this point. By the end of the race we made up an hour and won by half an hour.

July 18, 2008 at 8:38 PM  
Blogger Charles Eichhorst said...

Yes, I was the 'dynamometer guru'

July 18, 2008 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger TC Lambert said...

The wife says she thinks we passed MIT before Winnipeg in '05. Minnesota was ahead by a little bit at Winnipeg, less than an hour I believe. We caught 'em and passed 'em somewhere on the road to Medicine Hat.

Are you trying to cast us in Minnesota's role, and Principia in Michigan's? You think Principia will do better in the windy conditions? They do have a slick look. And I hear that Chris Vermillion helped with their aero design. Chris did Momentum's aero design, and also helped with Continuum's. He's the best aero guy there is. (Eat it, Burt Rutan!)

July 18, 2008 at 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Principia says they are at Grand Forks ND, and that they have travelled 1243.4 miles. See their website.
I don't blame people cheering for the little 'un that could. Everybody loves an underdog, except for those of us who are UMich gradjets.

LSA '72

July 18, 2008 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger Chris Hilger said...

Nice work Michigan. Hopefully tomorrow is another successful day. I hope to see you all in Winnipeg

July 18, 2008 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger TC Lambert said...

For those who are MapQuest challenged, Grand Forks is about 80 miles north of Fargo, and about 145 miles south of Winnipeg. Of course, MapQuest said to take the freeway. That would mean Continuum drove about 355 miles in 8.5 hours = about 42 mph. The plus or minus on this one is pretty big.

July 18, 2008 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger TC Lambert said...

But Fargo is 1215 miles from the starting line. 1243 is only 28 miles beyond that. Grand Forks is more like 1295 or maybe 1300 miles. Somebody's arithmetic is suspect here. Who you gonna trust, the Latin majors of Principia, or a UM grad?

July 18, 2008 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger Charles Eichhorst said...

I just received word that they stopped just south of Grafton, ND. I also found out a little more about the penalties. 1 hour was due to the brakes, and the rest was speeding and not stopping quickly enough at a stop light.

July 18, 2008 at 9:17 PM  
Blogger Hostman said...

Chris is indeed quite good with solar car aero. However, we must also salute Jason Kramb, who designed the very successful '01 car (as well as some others, I'm sure), and who is now working for Burt Rutan down @ Scaled...

From my 2c, running past the wear point on the brake pads does not a safety issue make, until perhaps 300-1000 miles have elapsed. Certainly not 15 minutes. But if your observer is non-technical, they might get flipped out about it. Oh well. Time to blast by those amber waves of ... prairie grass... on the one and only road in Canada. :)

Don't get stuck in Brandon, Manitoba as we did on Route Survey '05. They *closed* the only highway for like 16 hours, and then only plowed *one* lane. Jeez.


July 18, 2008 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Michael - the mosquitos *were* that bad, I could have used a couple extra pints of blood.

I believe in '05 we made it across the border right after Minnesota and MIT, and then passed MIT before Winnipeg. Michigan was definitely 2nd to start the Winnipeg to Medicine Hat leg and made up ground as Minnesota got buffeted around with cross winds. As for the finish - less than 12 minutes separated 1st and 2nd after 2500 miles, the teams crossed the finish line just over one minute apart.

July 18, 2008 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger Garrick Williams said...

I'm pretty sure I recall even Kramb referring to Burt as a genius, so let's just thank fate that he never got an itch to field a Scaled Composites solar car, or we'd be hosed. On the other hand, if he ever does, sign me up.

An interesting note of trivia (and I hope Jason is around somewhere to add to this if I get it wrong) is that apparently Scaled employees were allowed to put a memento of some kind onto one of the SpaceShipOne X-Prize flights (they needed ballast). Kramb's piece was a part from M-Pulse, so Michigan has the distinction of being the first solar car in space.

July 18, 2008 at 9:48 PM  
Blogger Garrick Williams said...

Also, for those wondering, Continuum handles pretty well in winds, even getting hit by a couple of dust devils while driving without any loss of control. Its short wheelbase and long tail, however, makes it look like it's rotating more than it really is, so the hypochondriacs in chase (among them, me) probably drove the drivers nuts asking them if they were okay.

July 18, 2008 at 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Tim Trueman said...

I second the mosquitos being *that* bad

July 18, 2008 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger Michael Adams said...

We never PHYSICALLY passed MIT into Winnipeg. We ended up at RRC about 4 minutes after them. They had a few speeding penalties, however, and that pushed into second for leaving Winnipeg.

July 18, 2008 at 10:05 PM  
OpenID speakingjose said...

So Garrick, from your comments I take it that Continuum can sail well with the crosswinds?

In the years since solar car and following other racings sports like NASCAR and F1 I have a lot more respect for the work Kramb and the rest of the aero team did for MazieBlaze and MPulse.

July 18, 2008 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Garrick Williams said...

She does indeed sail well, though the bigger profile can't help but get buffeted around a bit more than Momentum. And big crosswinds are always tough on your tires. But Continuum should be okay in anything shy of a Category 2.

July 18, 2008 at 11:21 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Agreed with Adams on the situation. We were trying darned hard to pass MIT, and as luck would have it, it was their amazing 1000000 mph speedo that gave us the lead. As in, their speedo at one point read 1 million mph for a while, which cost them when they actually sped without knowing it.

To be fair, it's nearly impossible to pass on the one road in Canada. Especially when the other car is weaving like a slalom racer.

July 18, 2008 at 11:57 PM  

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