Iowa State University’s solar car team is making some final adjustments before heading to Texas at the end of this week for a big cross-country race. The director of the solar car project, Justin Steinlage, a senior from St. Lucas, Iowa says they put their car called “Fusion” through some testing this past week in southeast Iowa. He says they have quite a bit of information and with a little more tuning this week, they should be able to get the car running the way they want it.The team heads to Austin, Texas at the end of this week to get the car checked out for the North American Solar Challenge. He says the race officials check to see that everything is safe. Steinlage says they already had everything checked when they qualified for the race in Topeka, Kansas earlier this year, but they get checked again. The race moves from Texas north and eventually ends up in Canada. Steinlage believes strategy will play the biggest role in how well the car performs. He says coming through the midwest does not give them ideal weather for solar car racing. He says there’s a good chance for rain clouds to move in during the race, and that requires you to slow down. Steinlage says they’ll have to keep up-to-date on the weather so they don’t run their batteries down when cloudy weather does move in. Steinlage says they got some experience in that last week when they ran out of sunshine, and eventually energy to power the car while running near Marshalltown.
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