We pulled in to Calgary at about 2:30 this afternoon. We were the fourth team to cross the finish line (Michigan, FH Bochum, and Waterloo were ahead of us). The crowds in Calgary were unlike any we have seen before. The entire day, there were groups of people standing along the road to get a glimpse of solar cars driving by. As we approached Calgary, the crowds got larger and more frequent, until our arrival at the University of Calgary, where a crowd of several thousand was waiting at the finish line.
This morning was a little bumpy. We blew more fuses on the power trackers, forcing us to stop for 15 minutes just as we pulled on to the Trans-Canadian Highway. After the fix, we were greeted by a 20-MPH headwind, forcing us to significantly reduce our target speed. However, this was still faster than most teams that passed us while we were stopped (just about everyone), so we ended up passing them throughout the day.
Our strategy team had played the day a little conservatively to make sure we had enough power left for the last large hills in to Calgary. As a result, we had 25% of our battery left when we entered the Calgary city limits, allowing Adem to drive the car wide open at the speed limit. We even had enough power to turn the headlights on at the end, just for fun!
Once the race ended, the celebrations began. Socializing with the teams now that they are not concerned about the race is even more fun than it was before. The traditional swapping of team t-shirts also occurred; much of our team got shirts from FH Bochum and Iowa State. We plan to eat dinner with the Principia team tonight, which will be an excellent closure to this race where so much help was exchanged.
Our run today was not fast enough to change our overall standing (something drastic would have had to happen), so we finished the race in 5th place. Considering all the problems we have overcome, we are very happy with the finish we had. A special thanks goes out to all of our families, supporters, and sponsors for allowing this project to happen. Almost every single team member would agree that this has been the single most valuable experience of their lives to date, and it would not be possible without all of you.
Stay tuned for more reflections and summaries on the race!
July 22, 2008
Congratulations everyone! Great job on the race and the car!
Posted by: Dan Schoppe | July 22, 2008 8:03 PM
Congratulations for a great effort and a great result. We enjoyed talking to most of you in Omaha and in Sioux Falls.
Posted by: Baba | July 22, 2008 8:10 PM
Congratulations on a great race! Have fun in Calgary and be safe on the way home!
Posted by: Jan Coffey | July 22, 2008 8:20 PM
Enjoy the dinner, the awards, and the company of other solar car enthusiasts! You have done an amazing job. Congratulations on fifth place, and even bigger congratulations on your fantastic attitude toward the overall experience!
Posted by: Jeanne LaMoore | July 23, 2008 12:40 AM
Congrats one and all! You're the number one team in my book, winning in all the important categories - helping others, making new friends,gaining experience through adversity (those pesky electrical edjits), positive attitudes, never giving up... you're just that good!
Can't wait to celebrate when you get home - woo hoo!
Posted by: Louise Somers | July 23, 2008 8:14 AM
Eileen says: Congratulations on a job well done! We're so proud of you & your efforts. Is someone collecting all of the news articles and video clips from the entire race? The computer challenged would like to review the entire thing!
Posted by: Eileen Somers | July 23, 2008 9:08 AM
Congratulations Minnesota!! Job well done! It's great to hear of the friends you've made along the way and all that you've gone through together. It will be something to cherish and something never forgotten. Have a great time now that it's over and be safe coming home!! We're proud of you!!
Posted by: Buck & Dede | July 23, 2008 9:15 AM
Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 11:16 AM
Congrats to a class act! I hope you are as proud as your supporters are on a great race, top 5 placement(even despite your "learning opportunities"), and more important, the statisfaction of helping others, swapping knowledge and making new friends.
Thank you for letting all of us come along on the journey through this site. We have shared your frustration, come close to tears, had a few laughs and are close to bursting with pride. (However, we got much more sleep than you did!)
You have given us hope wto know that there are so many smart and kind young people out there. I am looking forward to the day when we can use solar or other renewable resources to get us around. (Hint, hint Morgan!)
Posted by: Ann Somers | July 23, 2008 1:33 PM
Congrats to the whole Centaurus Solar Car Team!! Good job!
Once solar car racing gets in your blood, it stays in your blood.
You will remember your efforts and hard work, along with the fun, the excitement, and details of the race, for years to come.
(Thanks for firing-up my memories of Aurora1 and SunRayce 93).
Posted by: Dan Bisila | July 23, 2008 6:26 PM