Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
June 11, 1999

Keep race tabs on ISU's solar car team

by Skip Derra

Being prepared has paid off handsomely for Team PrISUm, Iowa State's solar car team. By recording the fastest qualifying time last month, PrISUm Phoenix will be the first car in a staggered start at Sunrayce 99, the 1,340-mile solar car race from Washington, D.C., to Orlando, Fla. The race is June 20-29, the week of the summer solstice.

At Sunrayce qualifiers in early May, in addition to capturing the coveted "pole position," the team broke the track record for number of miles run in a Sunrayce qualifier.

And finishing their car earlier in the spring has left team members plenty of time to test it on the roads of Iowa and Minnesota, said Allen Ihlefeld, Team PrISUm director.

"It's extremely important to have the vehicle finished months in advance to facilitate testing," Ihlefeld said. "A well- tested vehicle and well-trained team will help us be competitive in the race."

PrISUm Phoenix is the fifth Iowa State solar car to take part in Sunrayce, a biennial race across the country. The highest an Iowa State team has placed is 10th in 1993, when the race was from Dallas to Minneapolis and came through central Iowa.

Those interested in seeing PrISUm Phoenix and meeting team members before they depart for the race can do so today (June 11) from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A send-off event for the team will be held south of the Molecular Biology building. In case of rain, the event will be held in the Molecular Biology atrium.

Updates during the race will be available on ISU's Web page at and on Team PrISUm's Web page at

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Revised 06/10/99