WMU News

Sunseeker in California for race's final two days

July 23, 2001

Sunseeker Web site

NEEDLES, Calif. -- The Sunseeker 295 team made it to California on Day Eight (Sunday, July 22) of the American Solar Challenge, and team members stopped to spend the night in Needles, Calif., just inside the Arizona-California border.

No official ASC standings have been posted since the evening of July 20, so the WMU team's placement is not know. Weather conditions for Day Eight of the race were hot and sunny, with the desert temperature standing at 106 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade at 6:30 p.m. PDT.

The team began Day Eight a dozen miles east of the Flagstaff, Ariz., ASC checkpoint. The cause of an extraordinary draw on the car's power supply that occurred late in Day Seven (July 21) of the race was determined to be a loose screw that put the shaft on the car's drive train out of alignment. The problem was easily fixed, and the team put the car on the road early Sunday at the point where it had run out of power Saturday night. The car passed through the Flagstaff checkpoint, continued for 127 miles to the Kingman, Ariz., checkpoint and continued another 25 miles, crossing into California before stopping for the evening.

The team's only stop during the day was a 10-minute stop to repair wiring that had come loose due to road vibration. Driver Marissa Melchior started out the day in the Sunseeker cabin. Later in the day, Kurt Hayden took over the driving duties.

The team plans to drive 150 miles through the Mojave Desert to Barstow, Calif., by the end of Day Nine. ASC officials are keeping all competitors in Barstow until the start of Day 10 on July 25. All competitors still in the race will take off that morning for Claremont, Calif., the race's final destination.

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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