NM Tech Holds Its Own in Sunrayce, June 22, 1999

RALEIGH, N.C., June 22, 1999 -- Cloudy skies and the 200-mile stretch between Charlottesville, Va., and Raleigh, N.C. played havoc yesterday with most of the solar-powered vehicles racing in Sunrayce 99, and New Mexico Tech's Corona was no exception.

After the completion of the second and most difficult day of racing in the nation's premier solar-powered vehicle competition, only two out of 29 sunraycers managed to cross the finish line on their own photo-voltaic-supplied power.

All the other teams, including New Mexico Tech, had to tow their vehicles into North Carolina State University's Solar Research Center on trailers.

New Mexico Tech's Corona, however, held its own in the intercollegiate field, and remains 26th in the overall standings after two days of racing.

The solar racing team from the small research university in Socorro placed 22nd for the second day of Sunrayce 99.

The University of Missouri at Rolla crossed the finish line in Monday's leg with a time of 7 hours, 50 minutes, and 45 seconds, averaging a little over 25 miles an hour for the day. The first-place finish also lifted up the team from Rolla to first place overall in the early stages of the road rally.

Sunrayce 99 continues today with a 180-mile run to Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C.

From June 20 through 29, teams from throughout North America, including New Mexico Tech, are racing 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.

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.