WMU students set for cross-country solar race
July 13, 2001
KALAMAZOO-- Western Michigan University's Sunseeker 295 solar car race team that will compete in the July 15-25 American Solar Challenge, the world's longest solar car race.
The 18-member traveling team (see list below) will compete against 32 collegiate and club teams from around the world in a 2,300 mile race that begins at 9 a.m. Sunday, July 15, in front of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and ends 10 days later in Claremont, Calif. Solar racecars entered in this year's biennial event represent the top engineering schools in the United States and Canada. Two European teams also will compete.
The race is sponsored by U.S. Department of Energy, the DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and EDS. Additional sponsors are Terion and Verizon Wireless. The competition, previously known as SunRayce, ran in 1990, 1993, 1995, 1997 and 1999. WMU is one of only eight schools in the nation to have completed all five previous races.
Major changes to this year's event include the elimination of mandatory nightly stops for racers. During previous races, teams traveled to a prescribed evening finish point each day of the race. While mandatory checkpoints have been set up along the route, most only require one-half hour media stops before racers are allowed to go on. There are only two mandatory overnight stops this year, one in Rolla, Mo., and one in Barstow, Calif. Racers will travel along historic Route 66 through Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and into California.
As in previous years, race standings are determined by total elapsed time to complete the course, and each team is accompanied by an official race observer who will check times and watch for race infractions.
WMU was host to the race's final qualifying events this year. During the week of July 9-13, all of the racecars entered in the ASC were on the WMU campus being examined for compliance with safety and engineering regulations. The final two days of the WMU event were spent at GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Mich., where cars were required to complete track laps totaling 125 miles.
WMU's solar car was among the first cars to complete the qualifying trials, passing all of the required inspections and completing the 125 miles at GingerMan Raceway by noon on July 12.
More information about WMU's Sunseeker, photos, race information, a list of competitors and a variety of links are available on the team's Web site at <www.wmich.edu/sunseeker>. During the race, daily updates will be available on the American Solar Challenge Web site at <www.formulasun.org/asc>. Throughout the race, beginning Sunday, July 15, racecars can be tracked on the Web at <www.formulasun.org/asc/tracking/index.html> through use of a global positioning satellite system that will pinpoint the location of participating cars. Race sponsor Terion will use a sophisticated satellite Location and Communication System, or LCS, to collect the information.
Sunseeker 295 student team members
Krystal Anderson of Carol Stream, Ill., is the daughter of Philip and Lana Shank. A junior majoring in biochemistry, Anderson is the Sunseeker public relations team leader.
Roger Anthony of of Clarkston, Mich., is the son of Marlene and Lewis Anthony. A junior majoring in mechanical engineering, Anthony is one of Sunseeker's drivers and also is a member of the body engineering team.
Jason Booth of of Dearborn, Mich., is the son of Paul and Cathy Booth. A junior majoring in aeronautical engineering, Booth is a member of the Sunseeker electrical team and a battery specialist.
William Eric Borst of Three Rivers, Mich., is the son of Peter E. Borst and Julie A. Stebbin. A senior majoring in applied liberal studies, Borst is a member of the Sunseeker strategy team.
David J. Fuller of Jackson, Mich., is the son of John and Rita Fuller. A senior majoring in aeronautical engineering, Fuller is the aerodynamics team leader.
Lucio Gorena of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, is the son of Gloria Elizondo de Gorena and Lucio Gorena Leal. A senior majoring in mechanical engineering, Gorena is Sunseeker's mechanical engineering crew chief.
Kurt F. Hayden of Battle Creek, Mich., is the son of Donald Hayden of Ceresco, Mich., and Carol Hayden of Marshall, Mich. A graduate student in industrial engineering, Hayden is one of Sunseeker's drivers and also works on the vehicle as a body engineer.
Nicholas Kaiser of Glen Ellyn, Ill., is the son of Paulette and John W. Kaiser Jr. A junior majoring in mechanical engineering, Kaiser is a member of the Sunseeker safety and communications teams.
Aida M. Kiilu of Kalamazoo is a junior majoring in aeronautical engineering. Originally from Nakuru, Kenya, Kiilu is a member of Sunseeker's power and electrical teams.
Geoffrey H. Klein of West Seneca, N.Y., is the son of Rosemary and James Klein. A recent WMU graduate with a bachelor's degree in automotive engineering, Klein is the Sunseeker team leader.
David A. McClain of St. Charles, Ill., is the son of Rick and Elaine Whitesides. A junior majoring in mechanical engineering, McClain is a member of Sunseeker's solar array and mechanical teams.
Marissa Melchior of Fraser, Mich., is the daughter of Kenneth and Roxana Melchior. A junior majoring in aeronautical engineering, Melchor is one of the Sunseeker drivers.
Andrew T. O'Neill of Louisville, Ky., is the son of Ted and Mary O'Neill and a WMU junior majoring in mechanical engineering. He is leader of the Sunseeker brake team.
Sarah J. O'Neill of Louisville, Ky., is the daughter of Ted and Mary O'Neill and a WMU senior majoring in elementary special education. She is one of Sunseeker's drivers.
Erik T. Pederson of Hartland, Mich., is the son of Ron A. and Donna Andrade. Pederson, an aeronautical engineering graduate student, is a Sunseeker navigator and a member of the suspension and wheels teams.
Tony L. Rizzo of Rochester Hills, Mich., is a junior majoring in engineering graphics and design technology. He is the Sunseeker navigator and also works on the vehicle's suspension and wheels.
Steve Schnoebelen of Battle Creek, Mich., is a graduate student in engineering management and the son of Duke and Joan Schnoebelen of Newton, Iowa. He is a member of the Sunseeker strategy and safety teams.
Andrew White of Midland, Mich., is the son of Catherine and Neal White. A junior majoring in aeronautical engineering, White is one of the Sunseeker drivers.
Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org