Solar Racing Team Qualifies, Ready to Start, June 18, 1999

SUMMIT POINT RACEWAY (CHARLES TOWN, W.V., June 18, 1999) -- New Mexico Tech's Sunrayce Team has once again qualified for the nation's premier solar-powered vehicle competition: Sunrayce 99, a biennial intercollegiate competition which showcases the imagination, ingenuity, and teamwork of students from universities across North America.

From June 20 through 29, teams from throughout North America, including New Mexico Tech, will race through five states, from Washington, D. C., to a finish at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla. The team with the lowest cumulative time over the 10-day road rally wins the event.

The top three finishing teams will receive trophies and cash awards. Scholastic achievement awards will also be granted for technical innovation, engineering excellence, artistic talents, teamwork, and good sportsmanship.

New Mexico Tech's entry in Sunrayce 99 is the Corona, a solar car which incorporates a totally new design.

The Tech solar racing team passed the "scrutineering" and track testing at the "Last Chance Qualifier," which was held this week at Summit Point Raceway, near Charles Town, W. Va., just prior to Sunday's start of Sunrayce 99.

After the trials at the Summit Point Raceway, New Mexico Tech became the last of the 29 teams which earned starting positions in the solar-powered road rally.

The biennial solar-car race was created by General Motors and the U. S. Department of Energy in 1990 to promote educational excellence in mathematics, science, and engineering by offering students a unique and highly valuable "hands-on" educational opportunity. Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS) joined GM and the DOE as a co-sponsor of the event in 1993.

"Sunrayce is an invaluable tool for educating students and the general public about the potential for solar energy," says Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson. "Innovation and imagination drives these students, and I'm pleased that we can provide them with this unique experience."