Rayce Day 8: Across Canada

We're almost there! After a pretty laid back night in Winnipeg (even though we got lost getting to our hotel), the team was anxious to get on with the next stage of racing. We awoke to almost complete cloud cover over the city, which hampered the morning charge. Rain forced us to move the car under a canopy, negating any power we were getting from diffuse light. It affected all the other teams too, whose battery packs were already depleted from driving through rain in the Dakotas yesterday.

To make matters worse, the stage from Winnipeg to Medicine Hat is 650 miles and only two days long (it was three in NASC2005), forcing teams to average nearly 40MPH to complete the stage on time. As a result, about half the teams elected to forgo driving their solar car altogether this morning and to trailer to Brandon, which was rumored to have sun. Because of our status as one of only five teams that have not trailered yet, we elected to deal with the lackluster weather and push through, to at the very least retain our spot in the top five.

Centaurus ran smoothly all day. Once we got on to the Trans-Canadian highway, we had little to worry about, as it is mostly flat and straight. We arrived in Brandon about 1:30PM, changed drivers, and left after our mandatory half-hour stop. Then, it was back to the highway for more of the same. The weather improved, allowing us to increase our speed across Saskatchewan.

We are camped in Wolseley, SK right now, about 100km East of Regina. Iowa State (one of the teams that trailered to Brandon) is camped right next to us, which made for a more entertaining night than we normally would have had. We have heard Principia depleted their battery pack on a warped brake disc that went undiagnosed, and thus has fallen behind us. Current leader Michigan has apparently already passed through the Regina checkpoint and are on their way to Medicine Hat. FH Bochum and Waterloo are also slightly ahead of us in the stage. Only two days left!

--David Towey
Crew Chief

July 20, 2008



Great job of toughing it out during the race day. We kept hearing reports of all the trailering of the cars due to the weather. It's good to hear that you were able to get in 300 miles. It is going to make for a long day today of almost 350 miles. Hopefully the weather will be nice to you today. Go Gophers!!!

Posted by: Roger Coffey | July 21, 2008 7:47 AM

I just watched a video that Missouri S&T has on their blog and Centaurus showed up several times... you guys look gooood!

Hope you enjoyed the cookies & chex mix ;> if some of you missed out, we'll make a huge batch when you get back!

Love, & Sunshine from all of us, have a great Rayce!

Posted by: Louise Somers | July 21, 2008 9:28 AM

Great job on running Centaurus without trailering! I'm so proud of you all. Keep up the great work! May you have sunshine and smooth roads all day. Be well, solar car team!

Posted by: Jeanne LaMoore | July 21, 2008 11:33 AM

The little solar car that could!! You go guys!

Posted by: KATE aka SUNSHINE | July 21, 2008 1:38 PM