The High School Solar Car Challenge: Day 2

Here are the unofficial lap counts for Days 1 and 2 of the (High School) Solar Car Challenge at the Texas Motor Speedway. The symbols at the top of each bar refer to my car identification chart. Catamaran cars (stars) are doing well. Black squares next to names indicate new teams (the Holy Solars in particular are doing very well). All Saints and Coppell, who had problems on Monday, have started to put some laps on the board. Plano Green, unfortunately, had a bad MPPT.

Doing an analysis on the lap counts (just for today) reveals a surprising fact. For the six most aerodynamic cars (marked in blue on the chart below), performance decreases as the car gets heavier (although the correlation is extremely weak). This is just as we would expect, because of rolling resistance. However, for seven less aerodynamic cars in the Advanced Classic and Classic Divisions (marked in brown on the chart below), weight has essentially no effect. That is, the effect of weight is swamped by other aspects of car construction.

I also wonder why we have Classic and Advanced Classic divisions. Cars in these two divisions, starting from the top, go AC, AC, C, C, AC, C, C, AC, AC/C. There is a difference between the two groups (Advanced Classic: median 102 laps, mean 125; Classic: median 100 laps, mean 102.8), but this difference is not statistically significant.

Let me finish, once again, with an action shot (click to zoom):

On the inside, The Blurr from the Heroes’ Alliance (Electric-Solar Powered Div) leads the colourful Miss Fifinella of the Women’s Air Service Patrol or WASP (Classic Div), with KCAL’s Deus Volt (also Classic) at the rear. On the outside, the blue-nosed Cougar Pride from Covenant Christian Academy (Advanced Div) is overtaking, followed by Black Widow from the MISD Shine Runners, in the Advanced Classic Division (SCC race photo).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.