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Solar cars poised for final day of racing

July 26, 2005

MEDICINE HAT, Alberta--With just 200 miles to go, Western Michigan University's Sunseeker and 11 other cars in the North American Solar Challenge are in Medicine Hat preparing for Wednesday's final sprint to the finish line in Calgary, Alberta.

WMU's Sunseeker remains firmly in sixth place. The seventh-place team from Principia College is more than two hours behind in cumulative time elapsed. The times were measured at the 2,306-mile mark at Medicine Hat.

The race lead now belongs to the University of Michigan, which is 11 minutes ahead of the University of Minnesota, the team that had held the lead since July 20. Close behind are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Missouri-Rolla in third and fourth positions. The University of Waterloo is in fifth place, followed by WMU.

Medicine Hat is the stage stop from which the final leg of the race will leave tomorrow. Cars will leave the stop at 8 a.m. (MDT) at one-minute intervals, based on their current standing, with Michigan out first. While awaiting the final racing day, the cars will be on display to the public at Medicine Hat College.

The North American Solar Challenge began July 17 in Austin, Texas. When it concludes in Calgary, racers will have traveled 2,500 miles, making the event the longest collegiate solar race ever held. Eighteen cars out of the original 20 that started the race in Austin are still competing.

Go to www.americansolarchallenge.org and click on "GPS Tracking" to see the current location of each car along the race route.

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

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