ASC 2016: Day 3

Day 3 of the American Solar Challenge takes solar cars from the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes, IN, through a checkpoint at the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site in St. Louis, MO, to individual overnight stops along the road (the race continues on Day 4 to the second stage stop at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield near Republic, MO). Unfortunately, it promises to be a wet and rainy day, with a thunderstorm to boot:

Update 1: The storms appear to have been quite severe. Here is Principia’s image of the rain:

The rain led to a very soggy attempt at pre-race charging (but did not stop the Stage 2 start, which began at 9:00 AM Central Time):

Update 2: The weather slowed the race, however – only five teams reached the Grant’s Farm checkpoint before it closed (although there is no penalty for missing a checkpoint – the regulations say “Teams are not required to stop at closed checkpoints and should immediately proceed on the Rayce Route”):

The map below (click to zoom) shows car positions as at the time indicated on the run from Vincennes (compensated for GPS lag, where possible, by extrapolating positions using the speeds given in the GPS feed). The table under the map shows approximate road distances from today’s starting line. Michigan is still very much in the lead, with Toronto also demonstrating what they can do.

2 Michigan 556 km (345 mi)
77 Toronto (Blue Sky) 449 km (279 mi)
51 Dunwoody (Combined SER) 397 km (247 mi)
32 Principia 385 km (239 mi)
828 Appalachian State (Sunergy) 378 km (235 mi)
6 Berkeley (CalSol) 373 km (232 mi)
92 ETS Quebec (Eclipse) 358 km (222 mi)
9 Iowa State (PrISUm) 346? km (215? mi)
42 Missouri S&T 345 km (214 mi)
55 Poly Montreal (Esteban) 321? km (199? mi)
17 Illinois State 214? km (133? mi)
35 Minnesota 209? km (130? mi)

The positions for Iowa State, Poly Montreal, Illinois State, and Minnesota are unreliable, because of GPS lags ranging from 33 to 140 minutes. However, Illinois State confirm that they are about 50 miles short of St Louis. Sadly, the Minnesota team stopped because of damage to both motors. Custom-built to drive a heavier Cruiser vehicle, these motors had previously made it all the way through the 2015 World Solar Challenge, but gave out today for some reason. Iowa State (below) unfortunately wound up in a ditch. A day of drama, on the whole!

Update 3: The slightly later map below (click to zoom) has improved label readability:

Here is a view by ETS Quebec (team 92) of their car Éclipse 9 on the road today (they also posted a photo of what appears to be Poly Montreal stopped by the side of the road):


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One thought on “ASC 2016: Day 3

  1. Pingback: ASC 2016: Day 4 | Scientific Gems

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