WMU News

Sunseeker in Arizona on seventh day of race

July 22, 2001

Sunseeker Web site

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- The Sunseeker 295 team fell just a dozen miles short of its Day Seven (Saturday, July 21) goal--reaching the American Solar Challenge checkpoint in Flagstaff, Ariz. At day's end, the team was preparing to set up camp in a small campground just east of town.

No official ASC standings were available for Sunseeker at the end of the seventh day. The WMU team was last officially reported in 24th place. Weather conditions for Day Seven of the race began with heavy cloud cover and ended with partly sunny skies.

At the beginning of Day Seven, the team left Moriarity, N.M., with Sunseeker in the trailer and drove 40 miles to the Albuquerque, N.M., checkpoint. Because the cloud cover remained heavy, they decided to continue on by trailer until the Gallup, N.M., checkpoint, some 142 miles away.

After checking in at Gallup, Sunseeker hit the road with Roger Anthony driving. With a full battery, the goal was to reach the Flagstaff, Ariz., checkpoint., which is 191 miles west of Gallup. Some 12 miles short of that point, the car ran out of power, after the team discovered the car had begun to draw more current than usual.

The car was examined Saturday evening to determine what was causing the excessive current draw. Electrical team leader Jim Cotton oversaw that effort. An earlier problem caused by a bad bearing in the drive train, was repaired Thursday night by Lucio Gorena, David McClain and Andrew O'Neill. Mechanical team advisor Glenn Hall was responsible for selecting the new bearing and offering replacement assistance.

The strategy for Day Eight is to drive the remaining few miles to Flagstaff and stop to charge the solar array before tackling the 127-mile drive to the Kingman, Ariz., checkpoint. After Kingman, the next stop is Barstow, Calif., 229 miles away.

For daily updates during the race, go to the Web sites for WMU News, WMU Sunseeker or the American Solar Challenge.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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