Team PrISUm raced more than 257 miles today and was third to arrive at the stage stop in Omaha, Nebraska – the halfway point in the American Solar Challenge race.
They’ll soon be on their way to Ames, Iowa – the race’s next checkpoint.
“It’s a lot of fun knowing that we’ll be heading home for a little bit before racing on to the finish line in Minnesota,” said Rachel Hoke, the team’s treasurer and a junior in electrical engineering.
Iowa State’s solar car Phaeton is still holding onto third place in the race, but because of overcast skies, it’s having a hard time catching up to the lead cars. Not even hot weather, which peaked in the 90s, was enough for Phaeton to catch up.
“We were close behind the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota in the morning, but we fell back a little bit as the day got cloudier,” Hoke said.
Team PrISUm also ran into its first mechanical problem since the start of the race – Phaeton’s canopy wasn’t latching securely into place. Essentially a car door, the canopy opens to let the driver in and out, and closes for protection on the road.
But Hoke said the issue was fixed by the end of the night, and the team now waits for morning to begin the race to Ames.
“We’re all pretty excited to stop at the university,” Hoke said.
Tomorrow in Ames, Iowa State’s College of Engineering is hosting a free community event from 1–4 p.m. at the race’s checkpoint in the D2 parking lot north of Jack Trice Stadium – visitors can see the race’s teams and their solar cars up close.