FSGP 2023

The Formula Sun Grand Prix is on again this year at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kansas. Scrutineering begins on 27 June.

Here is a list of the 17 teams (15 Challenger/SOV cars and 2 Cruiser/MOV cars) from 2 countries registered for the race. Teams are sorted in team number order and, as always, you can click the social media links, and click images to zoom (I have not yet found images for some of the newer teams). You can also check out the official ASC social media at        (click on the icons).

US  University of Florida (Solar Gators) 

Monohull challenger (new car: Sunrider) – they have a beautiful new car.

Previously, Florida came equal 15th at FSGP 17; came 10th at FSGP 18; came 8th at FSGP 19; and came 10th at FSGP 22.


picture credit (click image to zoom)

US  UC Berkeley Solar Vehicle Team (CalSol) 

Symmetric challenger (Zephyr) – they raced in Australia in 2019 as number 66: read about their Australian adventures here.

Previously, CalSol participated in the WSC 19 Cruiser class; came 15th at FSGP 14; came 7th at FSGP 15; came 9th at ASC 16; won FSGP 17; came 6th at ASC 18; came 2nd in the FSGP 19 Cruiser class; came 6th at ASC 21; and came 4th at ASC 22.

 
Left: Anthony Dekker / Right: credit (click images to zoom)

CA  Dalhousie 

Symmetric challenger (new team with car: Nova) – this new team is from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. They are quite far behind on compulsory FSGP/ASC documentation, suggesting that they are in some degree of trouble, and might not attend the race.


picture credit (click image to zoom)

11  US  Northwestern 

Symmetric challenger (SC7) – while a new SC8 is planned eventually, they will race the SC7 they sent to FSGP 19.

Previously, Northwestern came 16th at FSGP 16; came 12th at FSGP 17; and came 10th at FSGP 19.

 
Left: credit / Right: credit (click images to zoom)

12  US  Hot Wheelz (Rochester Institute of Technology) 

Challenger (new team) – this is an all-female team, with experience in Formula SAE. They are quite far behind on compulsory FSGP/ASC documentation, suggesting that they are in some degree of trouble, and might not attend the race.

17  US  Illinois State 

Symmetric challenger (Mercury 6) – I understand that they are racing their existing car. They are currently leading the field on compulsory FSGP/ASC documentation.

Previously, Illinois St came equal 16th at FSGP 14; came 3rd at FSGP 15; came 11th at ASC 16; came 5th at FSGP 17; came 12th at FSGP 18; came 7th at FSGP 19; came 7th at ASC 21; came 11th at FSGP 22; and came 13th at Abu Dhabi 15.

 
Left: credit / Right: credit (click images to zoom)

21  US  Kennesaw State 

Challenger (new team with car: Icarus) – I am not sure of the status of this team.

32  US  Principia Solar Car Team 

Asymmetric challenger (Ra XI) – I understand that they are racing their existing car.

Previously, Principia came 17th at WSC 15; participated at WSC 17; came 5th at ASC 14; came 5th at FSGP 15; came 5th at ASC 16; came 13th at FSGP 17; came 2nd at FSGP 19; came 3rd at ASC 21; came 2nd at ASC 22; and came 6th at Abu Dhabi 15.

 
Left: credit / Right: credit (click images to zoom)

55  CA  Esteban (Poly Montreal) 

Two-seat cruiser (Esteban 10) – they have transitioned to the Cruiser (MOV) class.

Previously, Esteban came 4th at ASC 14; came 2nd at FSGP 15; came equal 10th at ASC 16; came 3rd at FSGP 17; came 4th at ASC 18; won FSGP 19; and came 3rd in the ASC 22 Cruiser class. Their team number (55) is the year that Western Electric began to sell licenses for silicon PV technology.


picture credit (click image to zoom)

66  US  Rutgers University 

Asymmetric challenger (Arctan) – they seem to have been given Stanford’s 2015 car.


picture credit (click image to zoom)

87  US  University of Virginia 

Monohull challenger (Rivanna 2) – I understand that they are racing their existing car.

Previously, UVA came 12th at FSGP 22.


picture credit (click image to zoom)

540  US  Virginia Tech 

Monohull challenger (new team) – I am not sure of the status of this team. Their team number (540) is the telephone area code for parts of northwestern Virginia.

608  US  Badgerloop (Wisconsin) 

Monohull challenger (new team) – they have revealed their new car. Their team number (608) is the telephone area code for southwestern Wisconsin.


picture credit (click image to zoom)

614  US  Buckeye (Ohio State) 

Symmetric challenger (new team with car: Farasi) – they seem to have been given Sunseeker’s Farasi. Their team number (614) is the telephone area code for parts of Columbus, Ohio.


picture credit (click image to zoom)

777  US  Tigres Del Sol (University of the Pacific) 

Challenger (new team) – I am not sure of the status of this team. They are quite far behind on compulsory FSGP/ASC documentation, suggesting that they are in some degree of trouble, and might not attend the race.

786  US  Western Michigan (Sunseeker) 

Asymmetric challenger (Aethon) – I understand that they are racing their existing car.

Previously, W Mich came 7th at ASC 14; came 14th at FSGP 17; came 9th at ASC 18; came 5th at FSGP 19; came 8th at FSGP 21; and came 8th at FSGP 22. Their team number (786) is the sequence of digits for S-U-N on old phones (but last year they raced as 30).


photo: WMU team (click image to zoom)

828  US  Appalachian State University (Sunergy) 

Two-seat cruiser (ROSE) – this team has a fantastic, well-tested car.

Previously, AppState came 6th at ASC 16; came 2nd at FSGP 17; came equal 2nd in the ASC 18 Cruiser class; won the ASC 21 Cruiser class; and came 2nd in the ASC 22 Cruiser class. Their team number (828) is the telephone area code for western North Carolina.

 
Left: credit / Right: credit (click images to zoom)

This page last updated 19:11 on 25 May 2023 AEST.


Yet another quick solar racing update

In recent solar car news, we have now seen new car reveals from several teams. The latest ones are shown above (click to zoom). Promised new car reveals include Vattenfall16 July, Michigan19 July, Stanford21 July, Aachen22 July, WSU7 August, Durham12 August, Cambridge15 August, EcoPhoton: some time in August, and JU30 August. I will continue updating my list of teams as news and pictures come in.


FSGP 2019 team photo – L to R from front: Kentucky, Illini, Esteban (Poly Montréal), W Mich / Florida, Principia, Calgary, SIUE / Northwestern, UPRM, Illinois St, Ga Tech / NCSU, Berkeley (CalSol), Mich St, Waterloo / NJIT, with Rutgers absent (credit)

Meanwhile, 18 teams – Kentucky, Florida, CalSol (1st in 2017), Northwestern, Mich St, Illinois St, Illini, Waterloo, Principia, Ga Tech, Esteban (3rd in 2017), SIUE, Calgary, Rutgers, NJIT, NCSU, W Mich, and UPRM – raced at FSGP 2019 on 1–6 July. Final results were as below (click to zoom):

The FSGP regulations give the score for multi-occupant vehicles (MOV) as S = (D / E) × C × T, where S is the total score, D is the Total Person-Mile Distance, E is the Total External Energy usage of the solar car, C is the Completion Factor, and T is the Target Speed Derate.

The chart below (click to zoom) visualises these scores on a logarithmic axis, with six coloured bars being components of the score, and the seventh coloured bar S being the product (and therefore the sum of the logarithms) of those components. The six components are:

  • d, the total miles driven
  • d, the total miles driven with penalties
  • p, the average number of persons in the car (and so D = d × p)
  • E, the total external energy usage (as in the regulations)
  • T, the target speed derate, which penalises cars slower than 27 mph (as in the regulations)
  • h, a grey bar (the same for every team) showing the highest driving distance of any MOV entry (and so C = d′ / h)

This version of the formula, S = d × d′ × p × (1/E) × T × (1/h), makes it clear that the distance driven is essentially being squared, and hence dominates the other factors:

It’s also worth mentioning the lap speed record that was set on the COTA track:


Another quick solar racing update


Four recently revealed vehicles: Top Dutch, Twente, Blue Sky (Toronto), and Kogakuin

In recent solar car news, we have now seen new car reveals from HUST (pic), Top Dutch (video), Twente (video), Blue Sky (video), the commercial solar car Lightyear One (video), Kogakuin (video), and – just now – Agoria (video and below).


The new car from Belgian team Agoria (photo credit)

Promised new car reveals include Eindhoven4 July, HK IVE6 July, NIT6 July, Vattenfall16 July, Michigan19 July, Aachen22 July, and JU30 August. I will continue updating my list of teams as news and pictures come in.


Esteban were first to get all greens in scrutineering for FSGP 2019

Meanwhile, 18 teams – Kentucky, Florida, CalSol (1st in 2017), Northwestern, Mich St, Illinois St, Illini, Waterloo, Principia, Ga Tech, Esteban (3rd in 2017), SIUE, Calgary, Rutgers, NJIT, NCSU, W Mich, and UPRM – are at FSGP 2019 right now. Esteban were first to get all greens!


Solar Car Racing in the USA

The 20 solar car teams below are on the board for the Formula Sun Grand Prix this July (with 7 teams currently all green, 6 yellow, and 7 red). The event will, once again, take place at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas (above). Because the World Solar Challenge (WSC) is on this year, several teams (including Michigan, the champions) will not be attending the FSGP. It is also a little sad to see that some teams have fallen behind in building their car (and in a few cases seem to have run into major showstoppers).

US GREEN  3 – Kentucky 

This team completed 40 laps in the FSGP last year, and came 12th in the 2016 American Solar Challenge.

IN RED  4 – SRM (ETROS) 

This team did not attend the FSGP last year. I am not expecting them to show up this year.

US AMBER  5 – University of Florida 

This team did not attend the FSGP last year. Their involvement in the FSGP this year is uncertain.

US GREEN  6 – Berkeley (CalSol) 

This team completed 203 laps in the FSGP last year, and came 9th in the 2016 American Solar Challenge.

US RED  7 – SF State 

This team did not attend the FSGP last year.

US AMBER  8 – UT Austin 

This team did not attend the FSGP last year, but did 133 laps in 2015.

US AMBER  11 – Northwestern 

This team completed 21 laps in the FSGP last year.

US RED  13 – Michigan State 

This team did not attend the FSGP last year.

US GREEN  17 – Illinois State 

This team completed 327 laps in the FSGP last year, and came 11th in the 2016 American Solar Challenge.

CA RED  26 – British Columbia 

This team did not attend the FSGP last year.

US AMBER  32 – Principia Solar Car Team 

This team completed 454 laps in the FSGP last year, and came 5th in the 2016 American Solar Challenge. They came 17th in the Challenger class at WSC 2015. They also plan to race at the WSC this year. A car reveal is promised for 3 July.

US GREEN  42 – Missouri S&T 

This team completed 195 laps in the FSGP last year, and came 4th in the 2016 American Solar Challenge. This team has reported that they are not attending WSC this year.

US AMBER  49 – Georgia Tech 

This team completed 0 laps in the FSGP last year. Their team number (49) is taken from STS-49, the maiden flight of the space shuttle Endeavour.

CA GREEN  55 – Poly Montreal (Esteban) 

This team completed 321 laps in the FSGP last year, and came 10th in the 2016 American Solar Challenge. Their team number (55) is the year that Western Electric began to sell licenses for silicon PV technology.

US RED  57 – SIUE 

This team did not pass scrutineering for the FSGP last year.

CA GREEN  92 – ETS Quebec (Eclipse) 

This team completed 308 laps in the FSGP last year, and came 8th in the 2016 American Solar Challenge.

CA RED  96 – Sunstang 

This team did not attend the FSGP last year, and did 0 laps in 2015.

US AMBER  786 – Western Michigan 

This team did not pass scrutineering for the FSGP last year. Their team number (786) is the sequence of digits for S-U-N on old phones.

PR RED  787 – Solar Car UPRM  

This team did not attend the FSGP last year, but did 57 laps in 2015. Their team number (787) is the main telephone area code for Puerto Rico. They are building a new car for FSGP 2017, although they appear to have financial problems.

US GREEN  828 – Appalachian State University 

This team completed 414 laps in the FSGP last year, and came 6th in the 2016 American Solar Challenge. Their team number (828) is the telephone area code for western North Carolina. This team has reported that they are not attending WSC this year.

This post last updated 09:56 on 23 June 2017 AEST