Rest and Relaxation

While the car is outside soaking up the energy of the sun, the team is hanging out on the grass enjoying some free time for a change.  We are going to do some minor tune ups over the next two days and get prepared for the race to continue Sunday at 9:00 am.

The University of Minnesota would like to thank the University of Missouri - Rolla racing fans and the University of Michigan racing fans for their kind posts on this site.  We really appreciate your interest in our website.  We would also like to thank all our fans in Minnesota for all your great comments.  There were a torrent of messages posted from alumni and fans alike yesterday and the team loves reading them.  Everyday we print off all the comments, and they are lining the inside of our trailer for all the team to read.  Keep them coming!


To answer the Michigan parent's question, there is a little brown solar jug.  Minnesota and Michigan have decided to extend the historic football trophy tradition into the solar car arena, and have come up with a little brown jug to give to the team that is ahead at the end of the American Solar Challenge.  The trophy is currently in the back of our trailer waiting for the victor to claim it at the finish line.

There was a nice article about the team in yesterday's paper.  For those who haven't seen it it can be found at

July 22, 2005



Nice job team! Enjoy the french fries and gravy in Canada.

Posted by: MikeyJ | July 22, 2005 at 11:42 AM

 Greg Sallee
I don't pretend to speak for all Minnesota fans, but I do think it's safe to say that we are all simply beaming, and exceptionally proud of the team this year (as always)!

For me and those of us on previous teams, the GPS updates and this blog have proven addicting. We are watching, telling friends and coworkers, and emailing each other throughout the day. It's hard to sit at a desk and not be there to help and cheer!

Win or lose, first place or last, I think all of the teams will find that the time spent designing, building, and racing the solar car, and especially the friends met along the way, will be looked back on as some of the most fun you've ever had in your life. It's an incredible amount of hard work and is prtty trying at times, but it's without a doubt a wonderful experience.

Good luck on the last leg!

Posted by: Greg Sallee | July 22, 2005 at 11:44 AM

 MIT Fan
You guys are doing an awesome job! 
Like everybody else who has posted, I rely on yalls blog and the GPS tracking to get me through the day. Keep up the awesome job, even if it involves spanking my beloved MIT.

Posted by: MIT Fan | July 22, 2005 at 12:06 PM

 Nick Beedle
Hi guys! Great job on the leg from Ortonville to Winnepeg. I had hoped to see you at Fargo but arrived too late (got lost). I enjoyed spending time with you in Ortonville. :)

Many of my co-workers are watching the race closely! I guess solar car fever can be contagious!

Posted by: Nick Beedle | July 22, 2005 at 12:44 PM

 Mark '99
Nice work guys! One question that I can't find an answer for... what were the details to the time penalty? Or is that something we don't like to talk about? All I know is MIT would be right in it if it wasn't for theirs.

What are we supposed to do until Sunday? Work?!

Keep on truckin'!

Posted by: Mark '99 | July 22, 2005 at 01:23 PM

 Matt Haupert
Like the rest of us here I have not gotten much work done this week. with no racing today I was scrounging around the rest of the NASC site and decided to read the press releases. They indicate Minnesota's current pace setting time and note that penalties have not yet been assessed. from the spreadsheet it looks like MN and MI have the same penalties but MIT is really hurting in that category.

Posted by: Matt Haupert | July 22, 2005 at 01:42 PM

 Shanna b1 team
Way to go guys!

Congrats on the Winnipeg leg, I know the drive is pretty dull.

You guys are doing really great and I can't wait for the racing to continue Sunday!

Rest up!

Posted by: Shanna b1 team | July 22, 2005 at 01:52 PM

What penalties has Minnesota been given? Where do I find this information?

Posted by: Ande | July 22, 2005 at 02:12 PM

 Matt Haupert
The penalty times are listed in the timing spreadsheet, found on the timing updates page. Each checkpoint tab lists any penalties for the previous leg. They do not give reasons for the penalties.

Posted by: Matt Haupert | July 22, 2005 at 02:28 PM

Way to go on making the Winnipeg stage so fast! You've really earned your two full days of rest&recharge.

My dad wants to know if you're going to race overseas. I told him I didn't know, it all depends on funding, but that if any car and team was looking worthwhile to be sent, it was this one.

And those of you who've run into my long history of rudely remarking on whatever I think the team is doing wrong know I don't say that lightly. :)

Posted by: Laurie | July 22, 2005 at 02:50 PM

Nice work guys and gals! Keep it up! I'm looking forward to tracking the rest of the race next week. Rest easy knowing all your fans are scrambling to get caught up on work!

Posted by: Tony | July 22, 2005 at 04:28 PM

 Will Blee's Family
Go U of MN!!

Thanks for all the great updates. Is there an award for best website and updates?

There are so many family, friends and Minnesotans cheering you on-you would just be amazed.

It was soooo great watching you drive through the prairies and towns in your home state- and in first place no less.

We can't wait to see you take off Sunday morning from Winnipeg. I have to admit, we will really miss following you online. But I bet there will be nothing like seeing you in person.

Keep up the great work. Rest well and be safe.

Posted by: Will Blee's Family | July 22, 2005 at 08:06 PM

 Adam Hrpcek
great job guys! keep up the good work. i was going through withdrawl today not being able to watch us smoke michigan on gps. take advantage of these rest days, you deserve them

Posted by: Adam Hrpcek | July 22, 2005 at 08:26 PM

 Trevre Andrews
To everyone who has taken an interest in the U of M team,

First I would like everyone to take a moment to thank all of those team members who were not able to make it on the rayce. This car is a result of the efforts of many more people than the 19 that have been on the rayce.

Second, our advisor Patrick Starr also requires congratulations. More than anyone it is his efforts that have kept this excellent program at the University of Minnesota and he is irreplaceable. The only complaint anyone could ever have about him is that he has TOO many GOOD things to say about this team and project, but if you take the time to listen you will find a profound source of information.

My job for the past two years has been to observe the pulse of the team and do what is necessary to steer the team in the right direction. Together as a team we have learned more things than I could mention here. We are all in this one together and through continued focus we will finished well in this rayce. The team could not be more prepared for completing this rayce and that is attributed to everyone’s efforts. Like all teams our blood, sweat, and tears have and will continue to be poured into BIII, and this has helped us lead the pack. No matter how we finish we will never forget this experience and those we were able to rayce with.

As for the penalty we received, we were informed that we had been traveling at 60 mph over railroad tracks with a yellow sign indicating 30 mph. Of course this was hotly debated, but as always we respect the decisions made by NASC officials and are assured that the penalties are being assessed fairly. With that said you all ought to be thanking the officials, sponsors, and observers who are away from their families and loved ones so that we can put on this magnificent event. They have all done a wonderful job.

Love you Neda, Mom and Dad, Keylor, Sounder, and Yogi. I will be home soon.


Trevre Andrews
University of Minnesota
Solar Vehicle Project
Team Leader
Posted by: Trevre Andrews | July 23, 2005 at 12:01 AM

 Jason Halpern
Last I checked, yellow signs with speeds on them in the USA are not "speed limits" and are merely "recommended" speeds in cases of inclimate weather such as snow, ice, rain, sand storm, the apocalypse, etc.

I would continue to contest that one especially if the race gets that close in the end.

Keep on truckin gang!

Posted by: Jason Halpern | July 23, 2005 at 08:45 AM

 Adam Delwiche
On the last day of ASC03 (Barstow,Ca to Claremont, CA) we followed the 'advised' speeds through all of the twists and turns. Other teams i dont think did, hence a whole bunch of teams recieved penalties.

Which is why we "won" that "stage" after penalties were assessed.


Posted by: Adam Delwiche | July 23, 2005 at 08:53 AM

 Bob Meinz
Cheers for the U of M! Greetings and congratulations to the team and my illustrious nephew Peter Meinz for the excellent car and race! We'll be looking forward to the final leg. Hope you're enjoying the brief rest - it can't be all that comfy in the race car I reckon.

Hi to Jim and Karen (Peter's mom and dad) who are in Winnipeg I think.

Posted by: Bob Meinz | July 23, 2005 at 10:40 AM

 Bob Meinz
Cheers for the U of M! Greetings and congratulations to the team and my illustrious nephew Peter Meinz for the excellent car and race! We'll be looking forward to the final leg. Hope you're enjoying the brief rest - it can't be all that comfy in the race car I reckon.

Hi to Jim and Karen (Peter's mom and dad) who are in Winnipeg I think.

Posted by: Bob Meinz | July 23, 2005 at 10:41 AM

 Photo Mama
Who was the wise soul that picked Trevre to lead this group? Trevre, your vision and tact are exemplary. So glad to have such a cohesive team working together toward the same goal.

What a memorable experience for everyone who's been involved... all 46 plus the many others engaged in "insider trading." I'm speaking of current and past solar folks who are as glued to the updates and GPS as parents like myself.

My heart breaks for the "DNF" teams who probably worked just as hard as UMN but are experiencing difficulties and disappointment that must be off the charts. That's the "mom" in me talking.

The competitor in me says to keep doing everything you're doing, 'cause it seems to be working. If that means wearing the same socks backwards or something--go for it.

Best of luck combined with your smart strategy ("strategery?") in stage 3. Plus, it's a mother's perogative to embarrass her child--a quick "hi" to my daughter who has sounded great in the few phone calls received--sorry your cell doesn't work in Canada.

A special thanks to the team member who let her use his cell so she could say "hi" to me.

Posted by: Photo Mama | July 23, 2005 at 11:51 AM

 Jerry Majkrzak
To the Team,

Great job so far. Keep it up. With a little luck you could win this!

Whoever reads this tell Al Majkrzak that I will see him and the rest of the team at the finish line in Calgary. I'm looking forward to it!

Go Golden Gophers!!

Jerry Majkrzak

Posted by: Jerry Majkrzak | July 23, 2005 at 12:31 PM

 Paul Van Lankvelt
Great job team! We are cheering for you. Keep up the good work Tom Whipple!

Posted by: Paul Van Lankvelt | July 23, 2005 at 12:57 PM

Fellow Solar Rayce Fans-
Sunday should be VERY interesting. predicts sun with West winds 20-30 mph!!! That should create mostly a head wind, with some quartering effects depending on the route direction. What does this mean? Well, the differences in design, specifically aero, should be highlighted. Most notably, Waterloo(5th) employs tall wheel fairings designed to act as sails in certain crosswind situations. Michigan may have a similar scheme. We won't share what Minnesota has up their sleeve. ;-)

Regardless, I bet there will be a lot of cleaning, waxing and taping of seams happening before Sunday's start.

The change in route direction and high latitude are also significant changes. Array power will be down for everyone. Without checking, I'm guessing solar noon places the sun at the 50-some deg angle range.(its 63.5 @ 50deg lat. on June 21) Maybe another geek can check that. With the low sun angle, Minnesota's left side panel array may be an advantage as they head west.

Ahead is a stretch of plains with few starts/stops so weight advantages should be lessened.

All in all, things are going to get really interesting over the next few days. Stay tuned....

Posted by: Brad | July 23, 2005 at 03:31 PM

 TC Lambert
Hello from a Michigan dad.

Thanks for confirming the existence of a little brown solar jug. My son said he'd heard of it, but hadn't seen it, since this is his first year of solar racing, and Minnesota has had the jug since '03.

I am very impressed with the performance of Minnesota's car, and with MIT's. I knew Michigan had a good car. My son told me they could hit a top speed of on a test track. When I talk about the solar cars, which is so often it must annoy some people, they are always astounded to hear these cars go freeway speeds. In fact, the top cars are going 65 so often and so many hours at a time that it's hard to see how Michigan will ever get a chance to pass Minnesota, darn it. Maybe during this last leg, uphill and against the wind, the cars will reach their efficiency limits.

You know, it seems like the top teams, Minnesota, Michigan, and MIT, are not finding this race challenging enough. That is, the ingenuity of their designs and the efficiency of their cars is not the limiting factor any more. The limiting factor is the posted speed limit.

I propose next time, in 2007, the top teams, including Missouri-Rolla, Waterloo, and Western Michigan, form a new super division, in which their cars have to pull a 500-pound trailer, or they have to build multi-passenger solar cars.

I heard a disturbing rumor that Minnesota might not go to the World race in Australia due to funding concerns. I think that is tragic. C'mon Minnesotans, fans and parents and alumni, you gotta send this team and their fabulous car to Australia. America needs you. And you know Michigan's going.

The Australian race is shorter, only 1800 miles, but it is harder for two reasons. 1) Not only universities enter. Professional teams can enter, including car companies. Some teams will have ten times Michigan's budget. 2) Some of the roads in the outback have no upper speed limit. A top speed of 65 won't win. I wouldn't be surprised if this year somebody hits 100 mph. That means you can really push the cars to their efficiency limits.

You know I would rather Michigan won, but c'mon, the Big Ten finishing in first and second, in the whole freakin' world? It's a good thing.

-TC Lambert (, website:

Posted by: TC Lambert | July 23, 2005 at 03:49 PM

 Photo Mama
I wrote a thank you to the Strib writer for the nice article, and she (Patrice Relerford) wanted me to let the team know, "that we enjoyed having the chance to write about and take pictures of [the UMN team] and wish them the best of luck as they make their way into Alberta." She regrets it was such a limited time frame and hectic atmosphere (I'm guessing it was at a checkpoint?)

Head winds or crosswinds... there's a lot of support coming from all of us watching your progress enthusiastically. We're behind you all the way--working against those winds for you.

Hooray for a sunny forecast. Go Minnesota! You all rock!

Posted by: Photo Mama | July 23, 2005 at 06:49 PM

 Jason Halpern
For those of you who are interested in hearing plans about future races for Borealis 3, the realities of taking a car to Australia for the 2005 World Solar Challenge are such:
1) The funding total for a trip like this costs around $100,000 when all is said in done. This involves supporting a small race crew (smaller than NASC crew), shipping the car on a boat to and from the USA, the actual race, etc. This money does not include any post-modification labor costs for the students' extra time.
The 1999 team took Aurora 4 to Australia, and it sent the project into the hole financially for several years. Was it worth it for the 1999 team? I am sure it was an experience they'll never forget, but it does add strain to the next teams, especially when the economy went down in the first years of the Bush administration.

If any of you know of some generous sponsors who can help us out, please have them contact the team's project advisor or student managers (contact info is on our homepage

2) A full month away from work, and or the fall school semester of time is required of the race crew.

3) Based upon the performance of Borealis 3, I am sure it would at the top of the pack for WSC 05 with Michigan, Team Nuon (defending champ), etc.

If the team decides to make an NASC run or other worldly solar car races, you can be sure it will be announced on our webpage.
Again though, financial support is a huge challenge that would need to be overcome for this to happen.

Posted by: Jason Halpern | July 24, 2005 at 01:16 AM