Sunseeker ties for third in track event, ready for cross-country race

Contact: Cheryl Roland
WMU's Sunseeker solar race car

Photo credit: Sunseeker Solar Car Project

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University's Sunseeker solar racing team finished the Formula Sun Grand Prix Powered by Austin Energy tied for third and has qualified for the Monday, July 21, start of the American Solar Challenge that will see collegiate teams race more than 1,700 miles from Austin, Texas, to Minneapolis.

After passing the requirements of scrutineering, an in-depth examination of the car's technical and safety features, the team spent three days competing on a closed track course at Austin's Circuit of the Americas Grand Prix facility. That qualifying event ended with the WMU team tied with the University of Minnesota for third place, with the University of Michigan in first place and Oregon State University in second place.

Success in the scrutineering and grand prix qualifying events puts the WMU team among just 10 teams from colleges and universities around the world to have qualified to race in the American Solar Challenge. A total of 21 teams began the qualifying process for the event. That 1,751-mile road race begins in Austin and travels through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota, finishing in Minneapolis Monday, July 28. Details on the race route and "stage stops" throughout the course can be found online at

The Sunseeker team has been posting daily blog updates, Facebook and Twitter items as well as photographs of the race and accompanying activities. Links to all can be found at

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