Qualifying Day 1

The University of Minnesota is officially qualified!

Earlier today, Centaurus completed enough laps to qualify for the main event; the cross-country race from here to Calgary. The team is still waiting for the judges to check everything over and make this "official", and Jeff still needs to log a few more laps in the car to be qualified as a driver, but this is another big milestone we've passed.

Officially Qualified

July 10, 2008


All things considered, today was a pretty successful day on the track. We were easily turning hot laps for a good portion of the day; we believe we currently hold the track record.

Although the team qualified the car relatively quickly and early today (we were the second to do so), we have been plagued by all sorts of electrical and mechanical bugs ("features," as we sometimes call them) that have hampered our progress in the race for pole position. After getting Jeff qualified on our 70th lap, all of our drivers and the car were cleared to drive in the race. We elected to pull the car in to the pits and fix as many problems as we could today, since having a good car on the road Sunday is a lot more important than starting first.

After a marathon effort by electrical and mechanical teams, we put the car out on the track with about 2 hours to go on the day. We turned as many laps as we could, and then charged the car for the evening.

Currently, we stand in second place (Michigan is in first), and expect to keep up with the competition with minimal pitting tomorrow.

--David Towey
Crew Chief

July 10, 2008




Posted by: Kate | July 10, 2008 3:58 PM

Some bulletin board material from the michigan blog:

"We are currently first place in laps completed. Our biggest competitor from the beginning of the day, Minnesota, has spent a significant amount of time in the pits with both electrical and mechanical problems."

Posted by: Nick | July 10, 2008 4:43 PM

I guess Nick's comment means Michigan managed to eke through dynamic and brake tests. I'd try to stay FAR FAR in front of them, so as to avoid getting rear-ended like their lead car in Australia.

Congrats on qualifying. A little extra validation that you guys built one heck of a car.

Posted by: Pat | July 10, 2008 8:34 PM

Go, Gophers! We're so excited for you. Keep up the great work. We're looking forward to seeing you in Fargo. Be wonderful!

Posted by: Jeanne LaMoore | July 10, 2008 9:55 PM

Great Job!

Make sure problems are fixed in this stage. Being first at this stage is nice, but Calgary is where it counts.

Solar Road Trip! cool//////

Posted by: Don Heller | July 11, 2008 9:17 AM

The car looks great under the checkered flag, shades of things to come! Way to go team, keep up the great work, be smart, race right, git er done!

Posted by: Louise Somers | July 11, 2008 12:23 PM

Congrats guys. Looking forward to seeing y'all off here in Plano this weekend!

Posted by: Matt | July 11, 2008 4:39 PM

Way to go team! Keep up the great work, I love it that you've named your "challenges" as "features", that's great humor! Be well, race far and fast - this is very exciting for all of us back home.
Just am FYI to first time commenters, you don't need to fill out the URL box in order to post a comment.

Go team go!

Posted by: Louise Somers | July 11, 2008 12:20 PM

I can't believe how excited I am for all of you, and the race hasn't even started yet! Thanks for the updates. It's so nice to hear how things are going for you. Keep up the great work! I hope you're having fun, too. That's important in life. Be well!

Posted by: Jeanne LaMoore | July 11, 2008 1:40 PM

From the Kentucky blog:

"At approximately 3:45 p.m. C.S.T. on Thursday, July 10th the UK Solar Car Team became the 4th team to qualify for the North American Solar Challenge cross-country rayce... ...In fact, it was reported by one official rayce observer that Mark posted the 2nd fastest single lap of the day at 2 minutes 57 seconds. (The fastest lap was completed by Minnesota at 2 minutes 47 seconds.)"

Posted by: Nick | July 11, 2008 4:01 PM

So happy to be able to track you guys! We'll be watching and cheering you on! Glad to hear Jeff will be driving. The Rothering's are proud of you Jeff! You rock! You will be in our thoughts. Love ya!

Posted by: Marge Rothering | July 11, 2008 7:05 PM

Nice job on the lap times team!!! Keep it up! You guys have done and are doing great!! Best of luck! Go Jeff!

Posted by: Adam Rothering | July 11, 2008 7:16 PM

BIG BBQ at the Heller farm in Pine Island if you guys beat Michigan ... ok, we can still have the BBQ, but the person doing the BBQing will be much happier knowing Michigan got beat by you.

Posted by: Betsy Heller | July 11, 2008 7:29 PM