This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 23, 2003

Missouri-Rolla Leads as American Solar Challenge Nears End

The University of Missouri-Rolla has established a commanding lead in the American Solar Challenge, the 2,300-mile solar car race from Chicago to Los Angeles. Missouri-Rolla took the lead on the fourth day and has held it since, averaging nearly 44 miles per hour overall-often limited only by the local speed limit. The University of Minnesota is in second place, nearly five hours behind Missouri-Rolla, while the University of Waterloo is in third place. The top seven race leaders arrived in Barstow, California, on Monday, completing the third stage of the race a day early. The final stage, from Barstow to Claremont, California, takes place on Wednesday. See the American Solar Challenge press releases and race standings.

DOE's Richard King has been posting daily accounts of the race on the Web site, chronicling the trials and tribulations of the teams as they face blown tires, burned-out motors, electrical shorts, flaming solar arrays, and even wind-tossed components, thanks to tractor-trailer rigs passing at high speeds. The race has mostly been blessed with sunny skies, although a heavy rainstorm on Sunday proved costly for the University of Arizona. See King's "Reports from the Road" and the daily photos on the American Solar Challenge Web site.

Meanwhile, the tenth-anniversary run of the Dell-Winston Solar Challenge is also nearing its end, with the team from Houston, Mississippi, in the lead with the most miles logged and the fastest average speed (29 miles per hour). In the last ten years, the race organizers have worked with about 8,500 high-school students from more than 900 schools in 22 countries. This year's race is being documented with daily photos and high-quality online videos posted on the Dell-Winston Solar Challenge Web site.

The 1,500-mile Dell-Winston Solar Challenge will draw to a close Wednesday afternoon in Cocoa, Florida, at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC). See the FSEC press release.