WMU Home > About WMU > WMU News

WMU News

Sunseeker qualifies for solar race

July 16, 2005

COLLEGE STATION, Texas--Western Michigan University's solar car, Sunseeker, was on the track Friday (July 15) at the Texas World Speedway in College Station and successfully completed the mandatory 140-mile trials to qualify for the North American Solar Challenge.

Drivers C.J. Hawkins, Jim Plocinik and Steve Yurk took turns driving. Each driver was required to log a minimum of 20 miles during the trials to be qualified as a driver in the actual race. By noon, all three WMU drivers had qualified and the car finished the required mileage by mid-afternoon. Sunseeker had previously passed the series of required mechanical, electrical, dynamic and safety inspections.

Of the 28 cars that made it to Austin, Texas, for the start of 2,500-mile race, only 20 passed the required inspections and successfully completed the 140-mile trials.

The WMU team was back in Austin today, where Sunseeker went on display at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Among the visitors to the museum's solar car display was Dr. Michael B. Atkins, former dean of WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, who retired in June. The 2005 North American Solar Challenge begins Sunday morning at 9 a.m. local time in front of the museum and concludes Wednesday, July 27, in Calgary, Alberta.

For more information, visit www.americansolarchallenge.org on the Web.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400