On the road with Sunsetters
American Solar Challenge 2001
Travel to Kalamazoo, MI
Sunday, July 8

By Eric Bradley and Tim Barth

We began on our 21-day journey at 2 am on Sunday morning when we left from our shop heading west in caravan with two 15-passenger vans and a truck and trailer (with the solar car). Our first destination was Kalamazoo, MI, which is the site of scrutineering and last-chance qualifying for the American Solar Challenge. The drive was largely uneventful until we hit Chicago traffic slowing us down and setting us back a couple hours, although we did pass solar car caravans from Iowa State, Missouri-Columbia, and Kansas State. We did roll into town with half an hour to spare for the 7:00 all-team meeting in Kalamazoo.

During the next three days in Kalamazoo, our car will be thoroughly scrutinized by experts in all areas of solar car construction. We endured a similar process in the May qualifier in Topeka, Kansas, but we are required to go through it again to show we've improved where improvement was necessary and that we have not significantly altered our solar car in an unsafe manner. The stations at this qualifier are electrical, mechanical, body, sizing, array, dynamic, and support.

Back to ASC 2001 update page