Iowa State students are in Indiana today at the Indianapolis Speedway with their solar car for the Formula Sun Grand Prix. This race is a companion to the cross country solar race. Solar car team member Even Stumpges, says they are excited to be at the track that is the home of the historic Indianapolis 500.
He says the last few grand prix races have been in Texas and he says this allows more people to come out and see them race, as most of the teams are from the upper midwest. The Indy cars race around the oval track at over 200 miles an hour, but Stumpges says that won’t be the case here.
Stumpges says the top speed is about 65 to 70 miles an hour, and they might get close to that in the straighaways. He says solar car racing is more about endurance than speed. Stumpges says they will average around 40 to 45 miles on hour, and it won’t be on the iconic oval.
He says it will be on the formula course that is on the inner portion of the track and features some tight turns. The Iowa State car struggled in the cross country race, but Stumpges says they have done a lot of work to get ready for this race.
Stumpges says in the last year they have redesigned half of the electrical boards and done a lot or rewiring of the car to fix some issues. The goal of the grand prix race is to complete 1,000 miles. It is part of the events celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29.
The I.S.U. team will be in Indianapolis through Saturday.