From: Associated Press
Published July 18, 2005 12:00 AM

Minnesota, Mississippi Students Win Solar Car Race

PASADENA, Calif. — Student teams from Minnesota and Mississippi cruised to victory Saturday in a high school solar car race along a 1,600-mile route through the Southwest.


The Saint Thomas Academy team from Mendota Heights, Minn., piloted its unnamed vehicle more than 960 miles to win the "classic" category for less efficient solar-powered cars. It averaged 26 mph, hitting a top speed of 51 mph.


Students from Houston Vocational Center in Houston, Miss., took first in the competition for cars using newer technology. Its Sundancer held up for about 953 miles, traveling 29 mph on average and as fast as 57 mph.


The nine teams, including one from Mexico, crossed the finish line at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena Saturday afternoon after an eight-day race that began in Round Rock, Texas. Teams spent up to 18 months designing and building the sun-fueled racers.


"If a group of high school kids can build a solar car and drive it across the country, then the possibilities for our future are endless," said St. Thomas Academy team member Nicholas Deprey.


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Los Angeles County's Walnut High School placed second in the classic category after its Ra vehicle went more than 610 miles.


The 10th annual Dell-Winston School Solar Car Challenge was sponsored in part by computer maker Dell Inc.


Source: Associated Press


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