Rainy Weather Dampens Efforts, June 24, 1999

ATLANTA, Ga., June 24, 1999 -- A rainy day in Georgia has dampened most solar racing efforts in today's leg of Sunrayce 99, but New Mexico Tech's Corona still managed to put 41 road miles under its belt before having to storm into Atlanta on the back of a trailer.

Since Corona passed four solar-powered cars enroute to Georgia before being trailered, New Mexico Tech solar racing team members feel confident that they'll move up a few notches in the standings today after having slipped back to last place yesterday in the 29-car racing field.

"On this fifth day of racing, I'm sure we even managed to place ahead of the University of Michigan's $1.5 million car," says Richard Ortega, faculty advisor to Tech's Sunrayce team, "especially since we passed by them as they were stalled on the side of the road."

Today's leg of Sunrayce 99 was a 135-mile run from Clemson, S.C. to Mercer University in Atlanta, Ga.

On Friday, June 25, New Mexico Tech's solar racing team and all 28 of its Sunrayce 99 competitors will get a respite from racing with a "Rest Day" planned for the stay in Atlanta. Racing resumes on Saturday, June 26.

Teams from colleges and universities throughout North America, including New Mexico Tech, have been racing through five states this week, from Washington, D. C., toward a finish line 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.