The 2012 American Solar Challenge just finished with a familiar winner: the University of Michigan Solar Car Team
. (We featured this impressive student group on TRANSLOGIC 99
.) Along with claiming a 4th consecutive national championship--and 7th title overall--the U-M team also broke the national record for the 8-day endurance race. Of course, that record was already set by the "maize and blue" in 2008.
1,650 miles blew by in 44 hours, 36 minutes and 21 seconds for the team, putting U-M more than 10 hours ahead of the 2nd place finisher. Their car, Quantum, is a fully redesigned solar car which is improved year-over-year, before being replaced every 2-3 years.
"We have proven that Quantum is a great car and made all our alumni proud," said crew chief and recent electrical engineering grad Ryan Mazur. "It is exciting and a relief."
Major congrats go out to the team for pulling it off another win, despite the bad weather along the way. The route--which starts in Rochester, NY and finishes in St. Paul, MN--saw intense rain showers alter the team's strategy to account for less solar energy collection.