Thirty-Eight Teams Qualify For Sunrayce 95

Indianapolis, Ind., June 19, 1995 -- Thirty-eight solar cars designed and built by college students qualified for Sunrayce 95, the largest field to ever participate in the biennial race held to stimulate interest in technological careers.

The University of Minnesota qualified for the fifth starting position this past weekend for Sunrayce 95, a 1,150-mile cross-country solar car race that begins Tuesday in Indianapolis and finishes June 29 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Aurora II, the team name, was challenged by one minor mishap toward the end of the qualifier when a pin holding the motor shaft and gear together jiggled loose. Ten minutes and a few positions were lost as the team diagnosed the problem and got the vehicle back on the track.

We're very pleased with our positio, said Scott Grabow, team spokesman. We feel very fortunate that our problems have been minor and we attribute that to our lucky charm, a victory symbol Jessica Gallagher, our co-project manager, picked up for us. We feel fairly well prepared for the race and are working on getting the team back into race mode and making a few minor adjustments on the car.

Before qualifying, Sunrayce officials inspected the solar cars to ensure compliance with safety and structural requirements. The cars were then required to drive a minimum of 50 miles averaging 25 mph. Forty-six teams attempted to qualify for Sunrayce 95.

The pole position was determined by the number of laps completed during a six hour period. Cal Poly Pomona completed 117 laps (214 miles), averaging 38 mph. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was second with 115 laps and Queens University of Canada third with 91 laps.

Sunrayce 95 is open to all North America colleges and universities. Students design, build and test solar cars over a two-year period, receiving a hands-on learning experience not available in the classroom. During the race, the cars will follow secondary roads through Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Colorado, stopping overnight in communities along the route.

The event is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors Corporation. A complete listing of qualifying teams is attached.