Students from UMR placed first with their champion sun-powered car, Solar Miner IV, at the Formula Sun Grand Prix, a solar car race held May 16-22 in Topeka, Kan.
UMR’s team won the first place overall, completing the race with 413 laps (867 miles). The University of Minnesota and Kansas State University finished second and third, respectively.
Last summer, Solar Miner IV won the American Solar Challenge, a solar-powered car race from Chicago to Los Angeles. The car is the sixth solar-powered vehicle to be built by UMR students since 1993. Its immediate predecessor, Solar Miner III, took second in the American Solar Challenge in July 2001. Then in November 2001, the Solar Miner III team placed fourth at the World Solar Challenge in Australia. A total of 43 teams from around the world participated.
The Formula Sun Grand Prix was held at Topeka’s Heartland Park, and featured solar-powered cars from U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities. Unlike the American Solar Challenge events, which involved cross-country routes, this event was held on a 2.1-mile grand prix road course.