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SVP Race Updates

May 3, 11

New Website!

We have built a new website. If you want to read more SVP news, head over to the new blog.

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Jun 27, 10

ASC 2010 Day 6 and 7

Spirits were slightly down after we had run out of power the previous afternoon; we no longer knew if we were in 2nd place, or if Bochum was far enough ahead of us to take it from us. On the other hand, we got a very good evening and morning charge, and drove to the stage stop in Normal, IL as fast as the speed limits would allow, arriving before noon. We were 5th into the stage, after Michigan, Stanford, Missouri S&T, and Bochum. We later learned that we were still in 2nd place, approximately 13 minutes ahead of the Germans. We'd gotten 7 minutes of penalties for speeding, but the Germans got 8 minutes of penalties for something, so we weren't complaining.

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Jun 24, 10

ASC 2010 Day 5

We started the day in 2nd place, an hour and five minutes behind Michigan, and a little over half an hour ahead of Bochum. Bochum apparently had issues on the starting line and was forced to start late, so the gap widened considerably right off the line. A few miles into the race route, our navigator missed a turn, and we ended up behind Calgary and Missouri S&T. Fortunately for us, we were able to quickly get around them... only to get stuck behind a different kind of slow moving, three car caravan. We were held up behind a group of three vintage automobiles, and the race route today was on curvy hills, so we did not have an opportunity to pass for 20 minutes! We later heard from S&T that they had the same issue.

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Jun 23, 10

ASC 2010 Day 3 and 4

The past two days have been pretty smooth sailing. On Tuesday, we left bright and early from the Downtown Ramada in Topeka, KS. Leaving the city, Michigan's caravan, ours, and Bochum's were lined up nearly nose-to-tail in traffic for about 3 miles, which certainly had to be interesting for the morning commuters to gawk at.Once we got out of the city, however, it became apparent that Michigan was outpacing us, and Bochum was falling back.

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Jun 21, 10

ASC 2010 Day 2

The second day of the race was basically flawless for the UMN team. I don't have time to go into too many details (it's pretty boring, "we drove ~140 miles without stopping" about covers it), but today was basically flawless. We pulled into the Topeka stage stop just before noon, got in our allowed 30 minutes of charging, and relaxed for the rest of driving hours talking to other teams. We got in a good evening charge, and hope to get in a good morning charge as well.

We ended the stage in 2nd place, with 07:48:40 elapsed. We are 00:23:37 behind Michigan, 00:16:41 ahead of Bochum, and 00:47:54 ahead of Calgary. Behind them is Missouri S&T, Stanford, Kaohsiung, SUNY New Paltz, Northwestern, and Kentucky, respectively. Iowa State encountered some major electrical difficulties this stage and had to trailer their car in, and I have not heard anything about UT Austin. Illinois State had to make some mechanical alterations to their car and were unable to drive the first stage, but rumor has it that they will be joining us for the rest of the race.

The second stage of the race starts tomorrow; we drive east to Jefferson City, MO, and then drive southwest through Lake of the Ozarks, where we will turn back northeast to finish at Rolla, MO on the 23rd. The hills on this stage are going to be bad; whenever I ask Missouri S&T about them, they just cackle at me. We'll see how Michigan's 713lb car deals with the hills; Centaurus 2's 389lbs should just sail up and down them.

Go Fast, Go Safe, GO GOPHERS!
-Adem Rudin
Senior Crew Chief

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Jun 20, 10

ASC 2010 Day 1

The first day of racing went very well; far better than the disastrous first day that I recall from 2008. As it turns out, when the power trackers work, we can actually drive fast! We spent most of the day at or very near the speed limit.

We departed from the Bass Pro shop in Broken Arrow, OK at 12:02, one minute after Bochum and two minutes after Michigan. About a mile into the race, Bochum pulled into a gas station ahead of us, letting us pull ahead. I have heard that they punctured a tire and had to repair it. We got lucky with some stoplights, and about 20 minutes into the event, pulled up right behind Michigan. We definitely had the power to stick with them, but unfortunately, we were still being plagued by battery heat issues and were forced to reduce current and fall back.

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Jun 19, 10

ASC 2010: The Night Before

Today has been fairly uneventful. The team woke up and rolled out of Granbury early, in order to try to stay on a regular schedule. Tulsa was only 6 hours away, so we arrived early in the afternoon. We charged the car off the sun for as long as we could to top off the pack, and then attended a meeting with the race officials to figure out exactly what will be happening tomorrow morning.

We will be at the at the Bass Pro Shop in Broken Arrow, OK starting at 9am tomorrow, and will depart at noon. If all goes well, you can also see us at the Crowder College checkpoint in Neosho, MO sometime between 1:45 and 5:00pm.

Go Fast, Go Safe, GO GOPHERS!
-Adem Rudin
Senior Crew Chief

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Jun 18, 10

ASC 2010: Formula Sun, Day 3

We finished in third place at this year's Formula Sun Grand Prix and American Solar Challenge qualifier! Official results can be found here.

The third and final day of Formula Sun was fairly calm, compared to the psat two days. More clouds in the sky prevented teams from driving as fast as they had in the first two days, and barring major accidents, it was pretty clear that the finishing order was going to be Michigan and Bochum in the first and second places, respectively. All of the teams were just trying to put more laps on our cars to wring out all of the bugs, and get the drivers more comfortable in the cars.

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Jun 18, 10

ASC 2010: Qualifying, Day 1 and 2

Apologies for the lack of updates on this blog, I've been running around all over the place for the past two days. Make sure to follow our Twitter for frequent (but short) updates.

The past two days have been extremely exciting. Our Formula Sun Grand Grix started off rather poorly.

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Jun 15, 10

ASC 2010 Scrutineering: Day 4

Today was the final day of scrutineering. As we've been done since midway through yesterday, there's not much to report on our front. We've mostly been going through final preparations for the Formula Sun Gran Prix, the three day track event that starts tomorrow. The track event serves as a qualifier for the main road race, as well as being a final test of the cars abilities before they are set loose on the highway.

On the other hand, we've been keeping busy helping other teams.

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