Listed below are the 13 solar car teams which have qualified for the American Solar Challenge 2016 road race (including provisional qualifications). Social media hyperlinks are also provided (click on the icons). The road race begins on 30 July, with the Award Ceremony being held on 6 August. Follow the ASC on Facebook and Twitter, check out the illustrated route details I posted earlier, and catch the live GPS tracking and timing updates. I will not be plotting my usual graphs for the ASC, leaving it up to Jeffrey Cwagenberg’s site. I will post regular updates, however.
2 – Michigan
Michigan came 4th in the 2015 World Solar Challenge in Australia and won ASC 2014. Their car is named Aurum, and is described here. The car has been modified to fit ASC rules, with a “safety bulge” beside the driver. This has an aerodynamic cost, and incurs a daily 6-minute penalty, but Michigan are still race favourites. They qualified for the road race on the first day of the FSGP.
3 – Kentucky
Their car is named Gato del Sol V. It is three-wheeled. This team has provisional qualification for the ASC.
6 – Berkeley (CalSol)
Their car is named Zephyr. It is four-wheeled and symmetrical.
9 – Iowa State (PrISUm)
This team won FSGP 2015 and came third in ASC 2014. They have a teaser video for ASC 2016 here, and there is also some news coverage with details on their car, which is a three-wheeler named Phaëton 2. Apparently, like some other teams, they have a daily 5-minute penalty for failing the wet braking test.
17 – Illinois State
Their car is named Mercury 5s, and is a rebuilt version of the Mercury V car lost to a battery fire in 2014. The car is four-wheeled and symmetrical.
32 – Principia
Principia came 17th in the 2015 World Solar Challenge in Australia (7.19 hours behind Toronto) and 6th in the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge. Their well-travelled symmetrical four-wheeled car is named Ra 9, and is described here. They qualified for the road race on the first day of the FSGP.
35 – Minnesota
Minnesota came 5th in the 2015 World Solar Challenge Cruiser Class, the only American team in that class. Their car is named Eos, and is described here. They are reporting their race experiences on their website here. They qualified for the road race on the first day of the FSGP, and are the only Cruiser to qualify.
51 – Dunwoody (American S.E.R.)
This team, made up of apprentices from Buhler North America in conjunction with Dunwoody College of Technology, is partnered with the Swiss Team 15, and will merge with team 15 for the ASC road race, due to problems. Their car is named SER-2. Provided by their Swiss colleagues, it is four-wheeled and symmetrical. This team has provisional qualification for the ASC.
55 – Poly Montreal
This team came second in FSGP 2015. Their car is named Esteban 8. It is four-wheeled and symmetrical. Apparently they had to do some repairs after an incident during road-testing, but the car is fine now.
77 – Toronto (Blue Sky)
Toronto came 12th in the 2015 World Solar Challenge in Australia (8.76 hours behind Michigan). Their car is named Horizon. It is asymmetrical, but they do not seem to have had the same kind of difficulties with the ASC rules as Michigan have. There is a campus news story on the team here.
92 – ETS Quebec
Their new symmetrical four-wheeled titanium-chassis car is named Éclipse 9, and is described here. The car appears to be overly wide, and has attracted a daily 3-minute race penalty (half that of Michigan). They qualified for the road race on the first day of the FSGP.
It is a hillier route than the World Solar Challenge, spanning 1,355 metres (4,446 feet) from lowest to highest point (altitudes taken from a 30-second raster grid, not from actual measurements on the road itself). I expect that some cars will struggle a little on some of the hills (note that this chart is reversed compared to the map above).