U-Michigan wins 4th straight solar car competition

July 23, 2012 • Business

In this Saturday, July 21, 2012 photo provided by the University of Michigan, supporters of the University of Michigan’s entry in the 2012 American Solar Challenge cheer as the solar vehicle, the Quantum, comes in to win the eight-day event in St. Paul, Minn. University of Michigan teams have won the competition four times in a row and seven times since the event started in 1990. The race started July 14, 2012 in Rochester, N.Y. Iowa State finished second and Principia [auth] College was third this year. (AP Photo/University of Michigan, Diane Thach)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan has made it four wins in a row at the 2012 American Solar Challenge vehicle competition.

The Ann Arbor-based university’s car Quantum won the eight-day solar vehicle competition on Saturday. The 1,650-mile event started July 14 in Rochester, N.Y., and ended in St. Paul, Minn.

Michigan’s Quantum crossed the finish line about 2:30 p.m. CDT, with cars from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, and Principia College in Elsah, Ill., coming in second and third. There were 18 teams in all.

Michigan has won the event seven times since it began in 1990.

“It is exciting and a relief,” said crew chief and recent electrical engineering graduate Ryan Mazur. “We have proven that Quantum is a great car and made all our alumni proud.”

The racers faced weather-related challenges, including rain on the second and last days.

The Michigan car built a 10-hour lead before a storm on the last day of racing forced it to pull over a few times to make adjustments.

“We’ve tested the car extensively in the rain, and each of our drivers has practiced in the rain, so that really gave us an advantage,” said A.J. Trublowksi, a mechanical engineering student and the team’s lead strategist. “While our overall strategy stayed mostly the same, we definitely had to make some adjustments to adverse weather conditions.”

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