seal  Purdue News

July 25, 2003

Solar car team rolls home to Purdue

The Purdue University student team that built a solar car and competed in the 2,300-mile American Solar Challenge is returning to campus Monday (7/28). The car traveled 1,954 miles in just under 97 hours and finished 13th in the 20-car field.

The students and their car will arrive on the West Lafayette, Ind., campus at 2 p.m. in front of the fountain on Engineering Mall. There are 30 Purdue students on the team, and members' hometowns include Lafayette, Carmel, Marion, Huntington and Terre Haute.

Chris Hacker, one of the team members, said he and his teammates had a valuable educational experience in both technical and human terms.

"This is the first time we've entered, and our car was a good basic structural design," he said. "We need to improve the electronics. We also have a lot better handle on how to approach race strategy. The students were all rookies in this competition, and they learned a heck of a lot coming together as a team."

The Purdue car started slowly, but picked up speed as the race wore on. The team's improvement was recognized in the competition with the 0-60 Award.

A news release written before the competition is available at

CONTACT: Hacker, (260) 740-7649 (cell).