University of Calgary

Solar challenge

June 15, 2010

Schulich Axiom cleared to race

After a series of safety inspections and road tests, the Schulich Axiom, the third-generation solar car of the University of Calgary Solar Team, is now the only Canadian car cleared to race in the 2010 American Solar Challenge. The U of C will compete against 14 American teams, two teams from Germany and one from Taiwan.

The Axiom was the first car to pass the inspections, earning the "pole position" for the Formula Sun Grand Prix June 16 – 18. This gives the team an advantageous starting position for the closed track qualifier, which takes place at the Motorsport Ranch near Cresson, Texas.

"We're off to a spectacular start. I'm incredibly proud of our team and excited because of the Axiom's performance so far," said Brandon Heenan, project co-chair of the U of C Solar Team. "Now that we’re the only team representing Canada in this race, we have even more reason to be proud and we're more determined than ever to see the Schulich Axiom come out on top."

The race begins June 20 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, taking teams on a challenging 1,000-km course through the Midwest. Each day, they will stop at checkpoints in Missouri and Kansas before crossing the finish line June 26 in Naperville, Illinois, just outside Chicago.

Fifty U of C students—the majority from the Schulich School of Engineering—spent nearly two years planning, designing and building the Schulich Axiom.

The U of C team placed sixth overall in the 2008 North American Solar Challenge when it raced its last car, Schulich 1, from Dallas to Calgary. The Schulich Axiom has a radically new design: it's lighter, more energy efficient and easier to handle than Schulich 1 and it cost $100,000 less. The Schulich Axiom has nearly 2,000 solar cells and has reached speeds of more than 120 km/h.

Follow the team's progress at http://calgarysolarteam.blogspot.com/.


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