Sunday, July 13, 2008

First into Neosho

We finished the afternoon riding clear skies into Neosho, Missouri, home of the first Stage Stop at Crowder College. We were the first team to arrive, coming in at 17:40:28, nearly an hour before the close of the stop at 6:30 PM. After arriving, we held the array of our car in front of a puddle, so that we could get some extra reflected light while charging. At 6:00 PM, we were able to move our array onto its stand, where it will remain until batteries are impounded at 8:30 PM.

Shortly after moving the array onto the stand, Principia College arrived in second place. Their arrival time was 18:03:05. Principia started the day in 8th place, leaving Plano at 9:07 AM, so they are unofficially 16 minutes behind us (starting order and interval times for the next stage will not be finalized until 7:00 AM Tuesday). No other teams came into Neosho before the close of the control stop at 6:30 PM. Therefore, it will be us and Principia here at Crowder College tonight, being joined by other teams tomorrow. Tomorrow we will be allowed to charge our batteries in the morning and evening, and will have the day off to work, recover, and mingle with the other teams. On Tuesday, we will have another morning charge, and will then leave at 9:00 AM.

Despite the bad weather and a few minor electrical problems today, we are all happy to have arrived in Neosho in first, widening the gap between our nearest competitors. We look forward to the day off, and to the next week of racing.

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Blogger TC Lambert said...

Oops. I thought they had to stop for the day at 5:00 pm.

Recalculating . . . Okay, 335 miles for the first stage in 8 hours, 10 minutes, and 28 seconds. (You have to subtract 30 minutes for stop at McAlester checkpoint.) That gives average speed of about 41 mph. Not bad for day 1.

Principia must have passed Minnesota and Missouri S&T. Wow.

Only 1,969 miles to go.

Great job, team!

July 13, 2008 at 8:45 PM  
Anonymous Jose Alvarez said...

Nice move by Principia, curious to see if it was a strategy play (take advantage of the extra charging day in Neosho) or if they are just pure speed out there.

July 13, 2008 at 8:50 PM  
Anonymous russ moerland said...

The rate at which data moves from the race caravan to those of us following is mind boggling compared to the way it was 'back in the day.'

Excellent work on getting to the stop with plenty of time to ensure a good full charge. Unfortunately, if the going forecast verifies tomorrow everyone else will also have a good charge.

July 13, 2008 at 10:04 PM  
Anonymous Steve Cook said...

Well done Michigan, when you get to the finish line just keep on driving southwest and i will see you all back here in Australia.
Regards Steve Cook, owner of the worlds fastest solar chase car.

July 13, 2008 at 10:53 PM  
Blogger brooks said...

The Principia team is twittering at

July 14, 2008 at 12:54 AM  
Anonymous Tim Trueman said...

Glad to see my two favorite teams doing so well!

July 14, 2008 at 1:47 AM  
Blogger seun said...

Steady and Smart wins the race.Now go us that 5th National Championship.
Go Fast Go Smooth Go Blue!!!
Momentum Alum
Seun Noibi

July 14, 2008 at 2:07 AM  
Blogger TC Lambert said...

For some reason I thought Principia College was Canadian. Turns out they're a small liberal arts college of app. 550 students from Illinois, WITH NO ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT. They've been building soar cars since 1991. They didn't race in 2007's World Solar Challenge. Their previous car finished 7th in the 2005 NASC. Their 2003 car finished 4th in the ASC, and 6th in WSC.

Their current car, RA 7, looks really good, very sleek curves, with feelers fore and aft to hold their turn signal lights far enough apart to satisfy regs.

Theses guys are for real.

Minnesota is apparently in third, camping for the night outside Neosho. Missouri S&T is in 4th, 70 miles outside of Neosho. Red River thinks they are in 7th about 100 miles out. Calgary is about 110 miles out.

Did I mention Principia has NO ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT?

July 14, 2008 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Brian Ignaut said...

Fantastic work, glad to hear you guys are putting some space between you and your competitors. It's also great to see Steve Cook commenting on the blog. Wish you could be here, Steve. We cannot thank you enough for everything you did for us in Australia.

For reference to everyone else, Steve Cook is an Adelaidian (sp?) who helped us finish and repair the concentrators' clear window and also repaired the Semi's water tank on short notice before our Australian Mock race.

To the Team, great job keeping up the posts this afternoon. This information is greatly appreciated!

July 14, 2008 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Steven Hechtman said...

A short explanation of start/finish times:

Stage stop days (including the race start) begin at 9:00 AM and last until 6:00 PM. All other days go from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Each day, a team may stop up to 15 minutes early or 30 minutes late without penalty. Therefore, the stage stop was actually open until 6:30 PM.

For non staged starts, teams starting times will be adjusted based on their finish time from the day before (i.e. a team finishing at 6:05 PM begins the next day at 8:05 AM while a team finishing at 5:55 PM begins the next day at 7:55 AM).

July 14, 2008 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger zolhisham said...

Nice information about solar technology, I like the information..
Your team doing well..
well done!!

November 13, 2008 at 10:33 AM  

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