UMSolar - Qualifying: P3

Submitted by Bronco648 on October 14th, 2011 at 11:52 PM


15 October 2011 - Darwin, Australia

With teams from 20 countries readying their vehicles for the event, the scene was organized mayhem. Even though it was early, it was already the hottest and most humid day we’d experienced. And everyone was feeling the heat; in addition to the pressure of making the fastest possible run.

Each team was allowed a warm-up lap leading to a timed “hot lap” around the track. That time would determine their position at the start of the World Solar Challenge.

Team Twente, from the Netherlands, took the pole position. Another Dutch outfit, the highly favored Nuon Solar Team, assumed the second slot. U-M Solar took third.

Official Standings and Times:

1st Twente: 2:02.20

2nd Nuon: 2:02.50

3rd Michigan: 2:03.01

The WSC is about endurance, reliability, strategy, vehicle durability and the problem solving capacity of the teams. Both Team Manager Rachel Kramer and Business Director Chris Hilger agreed that it was a very good place to start – as long as your team is in one of the top five slots you’re in excellent shape.

Tomorrow morning all the teams, as well as the media, will gather in the Darwin State Square for the beginning of this incredible and special event. Please visit THIS SITE where you'll be kept up-to-date from beginning to end.

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According to a tweet posted around 8: 30 PM EDT, Quantum has qualified second overall. Driver Troy Halm piloted the car around Hidden Valley Raceway in 2:03. That is approximately .5 seconds slower than Nuna6 of the Dutch Nuon Solar Car team. Nicely done Troy! Considering that the UMSolar car traditionally sports the number "2" in competition, this qualifying result bodes well, if you're into karma. Time to go buy some lottery tickets. Or, does this indicate a big game from Vincent Smith?


If you would like to see a lap, in a Toyota MR2, of Hidden Valley Raceway, vist this LINK.

Here are links to some of UMSolar's main competition:

Tokai University

Nuon Solar Car Team

MIT Solar Electric Vehicle Team



October 15th, 2011 at 2:19 AM ^

Later update shows Solar Team Twente (from the Netherlands) posting a time of 2:02.20. This puts Michigan in 3rd, with the University of New South Wales in 4th. Aurora, expected to be another strong competitor, had yet to run at the time of the update.

Still, the start order isn't a huge deal - the race is decided by total elapsed time, and there are enough traffic lights on the road out of Darwin to make the first few teams bunch up together anyway.

What the result does show is that Michigan has a fast, light car and great drivers. They have a great chance this year.


October 15th, 2011 at 8:16 AM ^

Thanks for the updates, I provided a little more detail in an updated original post. The top three cars are within 8/10 ths of a second. That's like NASCAR or IndyCar if you think this isn't ultra competitive. Also, that You Tube link, in my original post, shows an MR2 turning a 1:40 lap. 20 seconds slower for cars with super skinny non-grip tires and three wheels is amazing.


October 15th, 2011 at 9:34 AM ^

As a fellow engineer, these guys/gals have always a-maized me.  For the past 25 years they have represented the University so well with excellent results and sportsmanship.  Great job and continued success!