ANN ARBOR, MI – The University of Michigan Solar Car Team already has an impressive resume as winners of the past six American Solar Car Challenges.
The team has more to be proud of this week after finishing second in the world at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, an 1,800-mile race across the Australian Outback.
After three third place finishes in the international race in the past five years, UM’s team, which was the reigning North American champion, took second for its best finish in the history of the event.
Michigan arrived one hour and 59 minutes behind the Dutch winner, Nuon, from Delft University of Technology.
“This is indescribable,” said team member Patrick Irving in a news release. “I’m so proud of everyone for doing something no other Michigan team has done. We had really high hopes for this car and doing something different. It was a big risk. We knew it was going to go either really well, or really not well. We’re all very happy with how things turned out.”
Michigan was one of only two top teams that raced a skinny, monohull car – a radical departure from the proven catamaran design that dominated the field. The team unveiled the car, the Novum – or “new thing” in Latin – over the summer.