WMU News

Sunseeker in Missouri as third day of race begins

July 17, 2001

Sunseeker Web site

ROLLA, Mo. -- Hazy sun and high spirits marked the second day on the road for the Sunseeker 295 team, and a little attention from the law brought a smile to team members' faces.

The team was in Rolla, Mo., at the end of Monday, July 16, and poised to begin Day 3 of the American Solar Challenge with a starting position of 22 in the field of 30 vehicles.

Team navigator Erik Pederson says Sunseeker fans should not be disheartened by the official ASC Web site that has WMU's team listed as the final entry in the official placing.

"Don't rely on the Web site," he says, noting that a number of errors have surfaced and many teams, despite being well along on the route were still listed as being in Chicago.

The Sunseeker 295 team began its day in Elkhart, Ill., after a late night of work on the car to bring gear and belt alignments into better sync. After a short night's sleep at a campground, the team began the race route by trailering the car to the St. Louis area to ensure time for a solar energy charge before hitting the road.

Along the route, a friendly law enforcement officer picked up the team caravan in his cruiser and provided a police escort, complete with lights flashing for several miles. According to Pederson, the cruiser followed them and, as they approached intersections passed them to lead them through without incident.

From the St. Louis area to about 30 miles northeast of Rolla, Sunseeker traveled under its own power before running out of energy in hazy sunlight. The car was then trailered to the Rolla overnight stop, where team members were scheduled to stay in residence halls on the University of Missouri-Rolla campus.

Since the team only had a short time late Monday to recharge the car's batteries, Pederson says he expects the team to trailer the car early in he day Tuesday, but then take time in Neosho, Mo., to take on a full battery pack charge so Sunseeker can complete the day's run on the road.

Team spirits are high and the team's electrical advisor Abraham Poot say the car is mechanically in good shape, so the day's prospects look good.

For daily updates during the race, go to the Web sites for WMU News, WMU Sunseeker or the American Solar Challenge.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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