The Circuit Of The Americas racetrack in Austin, Texas plays host to all manner of racing machinery, from Formula 1 to MotoGP. That said, the Formula Sun Grand Prix isn't like most other series that run at COTA – these cars are powered by nothing but the sun. Which team can go furthest and fastest using solar energy is determined over a three-day period, and the competition is steep.
Popular Mechanics has posted an article on solar car racing that takes a look at one aspect of the sport that many, including myself, probably overlook: safety. Considering that the goal of the vehicle itself is to be as light and fast as possible, the fact that the cars might be lacking in structure should not be surprising. Also, a covering of solar cells is probably not the most crash-worthy skin available. The fact that people have actually died racing solar cars highlights all of the above
While looking for good stories to feature on our site, I ran across this video from KTLV on CNN. The event highlighted is the Dell-Winston Solar Car Challenge, a solar race starting from Dell Headquarters in Round Rock, Texas, and finishing in New York eight days later. To see if they will be passing anywhere near you, click here. They also have a blog, although as of the time of my writing this post, it had not been updated for a few days. The racing started on the 16th and will finish up on th
Australian students take their model solar cars seriously! Look at the size and detail that went into the winning entry from Merrivale Primary school located in New South Wales. The news account said the car was made from a carbon fiber frame and balsa wood. Observers said it was under control at all times, never coming off the 100-yard, figure-8 track. Fastest time was 19.02 seconds. I've seen photos of American solar model car races on the web and none of the cars pictured come close to the el