Minnesota Passes Michigan

It is a day of weather and we are playing a cat in mouse game.  It was looking glum at first as we had to maintain slow speeds due to heavy overcast skies and thunderstorms.  On top of that, the competition is tight.  University of Missouri - Rolla passed us early in the morning and M.I.T. is close on our tail.  Everyone is driving slow at 35 mph.  The good news is that Michigan had to pull over on the side of the road and Minnesota has just passed their car.  The weather has made it an interesting day of racing.

3:00 pm: Borealis III finally made it to the Topeka media stop, and it was quite an exciting time getting there.  M.I.T. passed us this morning, but soon after we passed Rolla as they sat in a gas station charging their array.  M.I.T. and us were inching along the highway at 20 mph, until our car simply ran out of electricity 500 feet before the top of a hill.


We had to sit on the road for about twenty minutes waiting to charge and then when we finally had enough juice we inched our way to the top of the hill.  Once there we could glide down out of the weather and into the sun.  Unfortunately, as we were waiting Waterloo passed us putting us in third. It was a long morning through a lot of weather but we made it.  We are now cruising north of Topeka enjoying the blue sky.

11:00 pm: We cruised at the speed limit the rest of the day enjoying marvelous blue skies.  An hour outside of Topeka we passed Waterloo, and now are second behind M.I.T.  We had a great sunset and charge and are looking for a great day of racing tomorrow

July 19, 2005



Heh, as a member of the '93 team, that really makes me smile to hear that we passed Michigan...

Posted by: Greg | July 19, 2005 at 10:48 AM

 Sara Whipple
So are you in first place now? Congratulations and hope things continue to go well.

Posted by: Sara Whipple | July 19, 2005 at 12:12 PM

 Dan Evanson
Wow, you guys are looking great!
Steady on!
Immense thanks for the excellent updates, you are spoiling us with an actual live update during the rayce day.

Posted by: Dan Evanson | July 19, 2005 at 12:14 PM

U of MN So La Ka kicks ass. You guys are doing grrrrreat! Keep up the good job.

Posted by: MIKEY | July 19, 2005 at 02:48 PM

Ooooo, midday update...

Not much of a shock you guys are doing well. Good, talented, driven bunch; good aero design, both shape and manufacturing; UMN's usual brilliant standard on the mechanical design and construction, crew o' electrical wizards, and what has got to be one of the sweetest arrays ever seen.

Go guys go, and run a mean race. :)

Posted by: Laurie | July 19, 2005 at 03:08 PM

 Brandon Huelman
I noticed that Borealis III made the University's home page. You guys are doing great, keep the updates coming. Since the race began I've spent more of my daytime checking your progress and reading the updates than working. This past weekend the Dell-Winston School Solar Car Challenge ended here at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. Saint Thomas Academy from Minnesota took first place, and I hope you guys do the same. I'm including a link to an article about the race, they must have been short on pictures because they included one of Borealis III at the start of NASC.


Posted by: Brandon Huelman | July 19, 2005 at 03:49 PM

 Adam Hrpcek
go go gadget array stand. nice going guys, keep up the good work

Posted by: Adam Hrpcek | July 19, 2005 at 04:00 PM

 Travis Lee
I like the tortoise + hare strategy - why choose just one ;-). Keep up the good work and don't let things in the lead van get too stressful.

BTW, traffic is way up at the website. More than 3000 hits in the last 24 hours and we've served over 2.5 Gbytes since the race started. People are loving the updates, keep them up!

Posted by: Travis Lee | July 19, 2005 at 04:33 PM

 Bob Meinz
Congratulations to U of M and all the racers from Peter Meinz's very proud uncle in St. Louis! If you'd passed closer, we'd have come by! Peter's mom just helped me find all the websites and pics. YOU GO!!!! YOU ROCK!!!!

Posted by: Bob Meinz | July 19, 2005 at 05:37 PM

 Pat Huelman
Great job -- once again. It looks like there were some neat modifications since we saw B3 in Topeka last May. It really is fun to see all the different aspects of a top-notch design and the teamwork really shows in the car and in the commentary.

We have thoroughly enjoyed the photo filled updates and comments. Unfortunately, we won't be able to cheer you on in Sioux Falls in person, but we will be there in spirit.

Go "sun golden" gophers!!!

Pat & Kathy Huelman

Posted by: Pat Huelman | July 19, 2005 at 05:40 PM

 Frank Williams
Thanks for the great updates! For those of us with no insider information, it would be fun to armchair quarterback just a bit. E.g.:
a) What are Borealis III's and the team's relative strengths?
b) What do you perceive to be the competition's relative weaknesses?
c) What is the team's current strategy?
d) Which teams are carrying boxes of thumbtacks to strew on the road?

...and by the way, who (if anybody) monitors adherence to posted speed limits???

Great success to you all - keep posting photos!

Posted by: Frank Williams | July 19, 2005 at 05:46 PM

 Ryan Osero
Fueled by the sun, powered by the mind...

Couldn't resist. Keep it up!

And only Travis would be more interested in the web traffic than the road traffic :)

Posted by: Ryan Osero | July 19, 2005 at 10:16 PM

 Adam Delwiche
Who is Ditch-Witch 2?
And what is the reasoning behind no array stands at checkpoints?

Viva la So La Ka!

Good luck tomorrow!

Posted by: Adam Delwiche | July 19, 2005 at 10:42 PM

 Kevin Grotheim

I wish by shear words it was possible to propel your team and the finest vehicle ever produced by the U of MN into 1st place and keep it there. If it were - I would say whatever was required to make it so. However, it is not.

The team has designed, built, tested and now is racing its own creation - albeit I say better than any team before it. The UMNSVP has the entire State of Minnesota behind it - continue to dig deep in the coming days - and show em' what everyone here in Minnesota already knows to be true regardless of the 'numbers'.

Bring it home and Go Golphers! So-La-Ka!

- Sincerely Yours -

Posted by: Kevin Grotheim | July 19, 2005 at 11:43 PM

Hey, Gophers, congratulations! I'm a parent of one of the members of the Michigan team. Near as I can figure, you are now in first place by a pretty sizable margin. MIT has somehow managed to pick up almost an hour and a half in penalty minutes, which places them in third. Looks like we (Michigan) have slipped to fourth.

I heard a rumor that there is a little brown solar jug on the line in this race. That and the fact that you have obviously built a very strong car gives us a keen interest in following your accomplishments.

And I really like your blog, though you gave me quite a panic with the photo of Michigan by the side of the road. That's my son holding up the left rear of their array with his shoulder. My wife saw the photo and said, "Oh, nice picture!" When I pointed out the circumstances and who took the picture, she said something else which I shall not repeat.

Well, I wish you luck, just not too much of it.

-TC Lambert (tclambert@gmail.com)

Posted by: TC | July 20, 2005 at 01:46 AM

 Laurie E. Miller
Hey, think you guys will make Fargo by the end of the day?

For those who head out from the Twin Cities to see you, it's about an hour shorter drive to Fargo than to Sioux Falls, so those who miss Sioux Falls still have another shot at Fargo.

Posted by: Laurie E. Miller | July 20, 2005 at 07:23 AM

Heh, just noticed from the radar that you're currently catching the tail end of the storm that went over here a bit ago. It was raining sideways again; hopefully it'll stick to the downward kind where you are. :)

Posted by: Laurie | July 20, 2005 at 07:40 AM

 Bud Beauchamp
Great site and best of luck to the Minnesota solar car team. It appears as though you and Michigan may be the teams to beat.

I am a 1966 Western Michigan alumnus following the race from my office in Seoul, Korea. I can assure you that the WMU solar car team is equally dedicated. Some day when I finally retire to the states I would love to support the Sunseeker car as a volunteer.

My best to all the dedicated teams who have worked so very hard in this most difficult endeavor.

Posted by: Bud Beauchamp | July 22, 2005 at 12:56 AM