American Solar Challenge
In 2020, the Vattenfall Solar Team is taking part in the American Solar Challenge for the first time!
The American Solar Challenge is a biennial solar challenge in the United States. This year the race takes place between the 18th and 25th of July. It is the 30th edition of this challenging race, but the first time that the Vattenfall Solar Team will participate. The route differs per edition and will follow the historic Oregon Trail this year. The race runs through five different states and runs from Indepence, Missouri to Boise, Idaho. The race is divided into four stages, with each stage lasting two days. The race covers over 2500 kilometers, with the option to drive additional loops and thus increase the covered distance even further.
The qualification: Formula Sun Grand Prix
The Formula Sun Grand Prix is the scene of the qualification for the ASC from July 14 to July 16. This three-day race at the Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka is already a race in itself. For three days, solar cars drive as many laps as possible on the circuit, using nothing but solar energy. The qualification is therefore not about who can drive the fastest, but who can drive the furthest. This means that strategy also matters a lot in qualifying. However, Nuna is not built to be fast on a circuit, but to have the endurance to be fast over long distances, which will benefit her in the American Solar Challenge.
The race: American Solar Challenge
After Nuna’s starting position has been determined in the Formula Sun Grand Prix, the real race finally begins. The route will lead through different American cities, but also through vast plains. Nuna will even drive straight through the Rocky Mountains! This means that Nuna will have to take on bigger height differences than ever before, and so the engine will have to be a lot more powerful. On the other hand, Nuna must also be able to perform well on long, flat parts. The strategist will also have a hard time. The race is very long, so it is even more important to think ahead and make the right calls. In addition, Nuna starts each stage in exactly the same conditions as the opposition, which makes a good strategy even more important.