Day 2 Race Start

The morning sun was clear and the day started strong with driver John Wanner turning steady laps. Pace matched Rolla for most of the morning, though their lap times were surprisingly inconsistent.

The electrical team does untold amounts of work preparing and maintaining the car. Brian and Martin work hard on a radio repeater to enhance communication with the driver.

We've heard that some of the students in the Fridley schools are watching our progress carefully. Thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing you as team members in the near future!


In the mid-afternoon, Borealis II had a mishap on the track. Coming down the front straight, the rear tire lost pressure (due to wear) and the car suffered a 180° spin, smacking the left rear corner of the car against a metal guardrail. The driver, Tom Whipple, felt okay, but was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Borealis II suffered considerable damage during the impact. The left, rear-most solar cell module was destroyed and that corner of the body was also cracked. Inside, the rear non-structural portion of the chassis had broken main supports and the rear top-shell bulkhead was torn apart.

The race crew leapt into immediate action, securing the safety of the driver, and rapidly evaluating the damage and readying a solution. The broken chassis supports were lashed in place and the bulkhead was partially removed and replaced with a new panel bridging the remaining two solid sections on either side. The broken solar module and attached turn signal were taped in place and Borealis II was back on the track.


The entire array, aerodynamic, electrical and mechanical systems were thoroughly reviewed and pronounced healthy. The entire pit stop repair, including the lap prior was approximately 1 hr 21 min. Kudos to the teamwork and ingenuity showed by the team during the repair.

Following the spin, Borealis II was repaired and sent back out on the track driven by Brian Eickhoff aka "Iceman." Brian turned a slow lap to check out the car and then was turned loose to burn off as much power as possible. He proceeded to turn a 3 min 2 sec lap time, the fastest lap at FSGP 2004. Brian also reported the car felt as good as ever. 

Driver, Tom Whipple, involved in the on-track spin was declared in good health at the local hospital. He has a minor case of whiplash, but otherwise escaped unharmed from the accident. Below he shows off the skid marks he left during the spin. Hey Tom, stop doing that ;-).

May 20, 2004


Hey Guys! You rock!! Keep up the good work. If a special Brian would like to call and tell me how ya'll did that would be GREAT!! Have a safe trip back to Minnesota! GO GOPHERS!! :)

Posted by: Kari | May 21, 2004 at 08:32 PM

Way to get the car rolling again! Keep up the hard work...hope that Tom is doing okay.

Posted by: Monique | May 21, 2004 at 01:04 PM

 Sacred Heart Third Graders
Hope the rest of the race goes well! We have been reading about solar power and we are following your team. Good luck!
Sacred Heart Third Graders and Mrs. Meinz

Posted by: Sacred Heart Third Graders | May 21, 2004 at 01:11 PM

Nice job! I'm surprised it wasn't Crash who spun the car...

Posted by: Hoss | May 21, 2004 at 10:35 PM