University of Minnesota holds onto second place position in Junior Class in 1995 World Solar-Car Rallye in Akita, Japan

Ogata-mura, Japan -- Aurora-II, the University of Minnesota's solar vehicle entered in the 1995 World Solar-Car Rallye, still maintains second place in Junior Class which contains High School and University teams. The team is in ninth position overall after two good days of solid running.

The race is three days long with eight hours of racing each day making the race 24 hours long. Team's positions in class and overall are determined by their number of laps completed in the available time. Laps are done on a closed track which is 18.6 miles(30 km) long, and does not have any public road intersections thus making the race one of endurance. The race ends on July 30th at 4:00 p.m. in Ogata-mura, Japan.

The drop in overall positions is due to technical differences, between the three classes in the race. The 'Free' class has no technological limitations, while the 'Stock' and 'Junior' classes have to use commercially available lead-acid batteries. 'Junior' class also has to use less efficient solar cells than the people in the 'Stock' class.

"The team has been very consistent, working together, and we are still following our game plan into the last race day." comments Jessica Gallagher, Co-Project Manager. "As far as the drop in overall position, there are several teams which have great vehicles. However, these teams in the first day did not seem to know how to run their vehicles at the optimum performance."

Jessica Gallagher said, "In terms of race performance, the team completed 11 laps or 205 miles(330 km) on Saturday. We did this in less time than we did on Friday, and also used less power in the process. In this race the car has completed 410 miles, and done so in two days which would take more than three days to do so in Sunryace 95."

In first place of the 'Free' class is Honda's Dream, which is also the overall race leader.