UM Solar - Formula Sun Grand Prix Results

Submitted by Bronco648 on July 13th, 2012 at 8:51 AM

The 2012 FSGP is history and UM Solar is your victor. A strong result from Iowa State promises an interesting American Solar Challenge. They're even talking a little smack:

The only trouble on the day was a 30-minute delay in the morning to double-check the car’s solar array. That allowed the University of Michigan to race to a 20-lap lead. “If we had started at the same time, we would be directly competitive with them,” Stumpges said. “That promises good things with this car.”


Stumpges said the Michigan team, winner of the past four races across America, is beginning to notice the team from Ames. Yes, Stumpges said. “We were neck and neck with Michigan a good part of the day.”

Here's the final results. The starting grid, for the ASC, is 1 - Quantum, 2 - Iowa State's PrISUm, 3 - Western Michigan and 4 - Illinois State.

Congratulations to PrISUm for setting the fastest lap of the '12 FSGP. The ASC rolls off tomorrow, Saturday, July 14, 2012. With showers and thunderstorms a possibility thru the upper Midwest, for the weekend, it may be interesting to see how things progress over the first three or four days of the race. It's also supposed to be hot next week and that may play into the final results as well. The Strategy Team as well as the Weather Team will play an integral part. Go Quantum, Go UM Solar, Go Blue.

  1. University of Michigan
  2. Iowa State University
  3. Western Michigan University

Fastest Lap: Iowa State University: 2:18

The 2012 Formula Sun Grand Prix is complete!


Team # and Name Day 1 Laps (final) Day 2 Laps (final) Day 3 Laps Penalty Laps Total
2 – Michigan 145 158 146   449
3 – Kentucky* 0 0     0
4 – MIT 0 55 107   107
5 – Illinois State 88 131 131   350
9 – Iowa State 125 146 155   426
11 – Northwestern*         DNQ
13 – Michigan State 0 0 50   50
20 – Western Michigan 120 119 127   366
28 – New Paltz 0 66 94 2 92
32 – Principia 103 58 0 10 151
35 – Minnesota 109 0 71   180
49 – Georgia Tech*         DNQ
55 – Montreal 76 28 109   137
254 – CalSol 0 110 0   110
256 – Oregon State 84 80 19 2 181
505 – New Mexico 22 0     22

Last updated on 7-12-2012 -15:00 Eastern. Each lap is 1.6 miles.

* Team Not Yet Inspected




July 13th, 2012 at 9:27 AM ^

Their Website:

On their about us page:

Members of umsolar come from many different backgrounds, disciplines, and colleges from within the university, ranging from undergraduate to doctoral studies. The team invites students to join year-round, and no particular skills are required except the ability to work hard and learn fast.  If you want to join, contact us!

At the bottom of their page


[email protected]

240A Wilson Center

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109


July 13th, 2012 at 9:34 AM ^

So, Iowa State is basically saying that if they had more confidence in their setup, they would've been right there with us.  That's pretty weak.  That's like saying "I did great right up to the point where my engine blew up".  This is a competition of preparedness as well as execution.  Always remember this Iowa State:  The view never changes unless you're the lead dog.


July 13th, 2012 at 11:46 AM ^

They also assume that Michigan was pushing as hard as they could and not just pacing Iowa State. This is a poor assumption.

FSGP is mostly prelude to inspect the cars, get some track time, and set the starting grid for ASC. ASC is the main event (with the Stanley Cup sized trophy). Dominance at FSGP is generally not Michigan's goal.


July 13th, 2012 at 12:37 PM ^

I didn't realize this was more of a qualifying session than an actual race.  It's still good to see that we seem to have most of the bugs worked out already and the team should be able to make some minor tweaks to get maximum performance at ASC. 


July 13th, 2012 at 9:39 AM ^

Seems like the quote from the ISU folks only cements the fact that the UM team is the benchmark they're striving for.  There's a hint of "smack" there but also a srong acknowledgement that when you're "neck and neck" with Michigan you're really accomplishing something that "getting noticed by Michigan" is a great thing.  At least that's how I read it...


July 13th, 2012 at 9:51 AM ^

I agree, "smack" was a little strong. However, UM Solar is the benchmark with 6 overall ASC wins including the last four in a row. If I were on ISU's team, I would be encouraged. However, as we all know, the ASC is much different than the FSGP.

By the way, for those asking about Sparty's car, Brasidius III, here it is:

Brasidius III


July 13th, 2012 at 10:04 AM ^

They're not quitters, that's for sure. They're also at a serious disadvantage to most other teams. They have a shoestring budget and very little support from the University and the surrounding business community. Someone mentioned that they're unsing an old UM drive train which UM Solar gave to them. I cannot atest to the voracity of that statement but it wouldn't surprise me (there's a lot of sharing within the solar car community). I would hope that Purdue and Illinois with their engineering/math/science programs would jump into the fray. So far, they have shown no inclination. Even Northwestern has a car that does pretty well (except this year when they cracked their suspension during the brake test - scrutineering).


July 13th, 2012 at 12:08 PM ^

According to the Team's web site, four in a row (2005, 2008, 2010, 2011). They also won in 1990 and 1993. LINK

The more I look into the History, that may not be right. Although, the Team says it has won the ASC six times and is shooting for number 7. As a former Team member, you know better than I.


July 13th, 2012 at 12:10 PM ^

Well yes but this one is the first that looks like a Rick Moranis character. I'm not sure why they make their canopies so big - there seems to be a lot of wasted space. Maybe it's a requirement of their sponsorships that Sparty can fit in the car.

Hopefully MSU can get their team more support - MSU's Formula SAE team is pretty good, so it's not like any MSU student engineering project is doomed.


July 13th, 2012 at 1:24 PM ^

They seem to focus on changing the canopy every year. I'm not sure why and I'm not sure why it continues to get bigger and (seemingly) less aerodynamic. Perhaps the SAE guys aren't into electric power. But, it would seem that there are enough engineers, at MSU, to present a better car.

Spontaneous Co…

July 13th, 2012 at 10:34 AM ^

Interesting how Western Michigan qualified that high while other world renowned engineering schools like MIT and GT did not do well.  Obviously (and not surprisingly) funding and resources for these programs are critically important to success. 


July 13th, 2012 at 12:12 PM ^

Right click on the image and select "copy image location"

Click the Image icon in the Toolbar (above the text editor window).

Paste the image location in the URL text box and provide alternate text. Click OK.


BTW, this is Brasidius I, MSU's first car. And, yes, the beer pong table reference is duly noted.