Arrival at American Solar Challenge

Greetings Minnesota Solar Racing fans and friends!

The team arrived in Evanston, Illinois Sunday and has spent the past two days going through car inspections ("scrutineering"), as well as carrying out modifications and additions to the car that will increase overall performance.

Scrutineering has involved a full systems check for the solar array, mechanical, and electrical systems, all of which have been given a thumbs up by the inspectors. Vehicle dynamic scrutineering involved running the car through a figure-8 course and an emergency braking test. For both tests, we performed multiple trials and passed with flying colors. On the first braking trial, our brakes performed so well that we locked up the wheels and came to a burnt rubber stop, resulting in two flat front tires some nice skid marks and smoke! After allowing the driver a few more runs to familiarize himself with the brakes, we easily passed the test.

Here is a break down of work by design team that has occurred the past two days:
- Array: Sealing the array to be water tight, checking wiring to ensure maximum power gain, cleaning/polishing prep of the array for further pre-race testing
- Mechanical: Mounting wheel fairing covers to reduce aerodynamic drag, adjusting the suspension to provide desired ride height and travel, improving the seam line fit of the body and chassis, adjusting the steering to provide desired turning capabilities.
- Electrical: Final fabrication and testing of in-house manufactured power trackers, testing and modifications to the main driver interface display, preparation of the battery pack for the race.

In the next few days we shall be continuing our final work on the car to get maximum performance out of all systems and road testing to find the bugs in the car. Many of the other teams here at the race (about 30 total teams have entered) are preparing for the last-chance qualifying race which will be held Thursday and Friday and are still putting together their cars for the first time. On Saturday we will be visiting the Museum of Science and Industry in downtown Chicago for final pre-race events followed by an early morning race start Sunday morning.

Keep checking this updates section of our webpage as well as the following race websites:

Thank you again to all of our families, friends, and sponsors for your support over the past year and half, helping make Borealis II the current success that it is. See you on the road to Claremont, Historic Route 66.

July 8, 2003