UA Solar Car Media Stop Today in Albuquerque

Lori Stiles
July 20, 2001

UA's solar car, Monsoon, was about 50 miles west of Tucumcari, N.M. at 9 a.m. this morning. Arizona Solar Racing Team members estimate they will arrive in Albuquerque, N.M. at 2 p.m. New Mexico time (1 p.m. Tucson time).

The car will make a 2.5-hour media stop at the Albuquerque checkpoint - the Fine Arts Center at the University of New Mexico.

University of Arizona engineering Professor Dunbar Birnie, faculty advisor to the Arizona Solar Racing Team, said Monsoon should be about half way to the Gallup, N.M. checkpoint tonight. Although the team could reach Flagstaff late on Saturday, a better estimate probably is Sunday morning, Birnie said.

Monsoon will stop for only 30 minutes at the Flagstaff checkpoint on the Northern Arizona State University campus. But team members who are driving the scout car and trailer should be available for interviews at the checkpoint before and after the stop. These team members also have been driving during the race and helped build the car, Birnie said.

UA engineering students are racing their solar-powered car, "Monsoon," in the 2001 American Solar Challenge. The 2,300-mile race follows Route 66 from Chicago to L.A., and is the longest solar car race ever run. Monsoon is leading in the stock car class, and is proving to be competitive with the open class cars as well.

Birnie said a steep hill on I-40 just before Albuquerque presents a challenge for all cars, and each team will have to decide how to best manage their car's power output and battery capacity to most efficiently climb the grade.


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