Iowa State University students are hauling their solar car to Kansas this weekend for its first race. The Formula Sun Grand Prix in Topeka will feature 23 solar car teams from colleges across the U-S. I-S-U junior Nick Mohr, of Bettendorf, is director of Team PrISUm and the new 21-foot-long car PrISUm Odyssey. The sun-powered vehicle cost 650-thousand dollars to build and can zip along as fast as 75 miles an hour. Final exams are wrapping up today at I-S-U. Mohr, a mechanical engineering major, says the Formula Sun Grand Prix starts Monday. The Grand Prix is based on the number of laps on the track over three days, not the best time. The race is also a qualifier for the big cross-country race, the American Solar Challenge in July, running from Chicago to Los Angeles. Mohr says that 23-hundred mile trek will be the longest solar car race yet on some of the most rugged terrain of deserts and mountains. I-S-U placed fifth in SunRayce ’99, the team’s best finish yet.
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