Quantum, the solar car designed by the University of Michigan, has won the 2012 American Solar Challenge Vehicle Competition.
This is the fourth straight win for the University, which has been the winner of the competition seven times till date since its conception in 1990.
The eight-day long solar vehicle competition concluded on Saturday with U-Michigan's Quantum emerging the winner. The 1,650-mile event started July 14 in Rochester, N.Y., and ended in St. Paul, Minn.
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Michigan's Quantum crossed the finish line about 2:30 p.m. CDT, with cars from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, and Principia College in Elsah, Illinois, coming in second and third. There were 18 teams in all.
"It is exciting and a relief" said Ryan Mazur, the crew chief and a recent electrical engineering graduate from U-Michigan. He also added that he is extremely happy to have proven that the Quantum is a "great car" and said it has made the alumni "proud".
Though they had to face many weather-related challenges, especially in the last few days of the race, the crew said they had tested the car extensively in the rain and the drivers had practiced driving in the rain. "While our overall strategy stayed mostly the same, we definitely had to make some adjustments to adverse weather conditions," said A.J.Trublowksi , crew's lead strategist and a mechanical engineering student of the University.
The Quantum built a 10-hour lead before a storm on the last day of racing and it had to pull over a few times to make some adjustments, yet this did not stop the car from crossing the finish line first.