U of M is, hands-down, one of the most well-funded teams on the grid for this year’s 1,800-mile, week-long endurance event in Australia. With sponsorship from both Ford and General Motors, along with industrial juggernauts Siemens, the team has taken first place in the North American Solar Challenge seven times. But even with all that green at their disposal, U of M has only placed third — five times, mind you — in the past 10 years on the global stage.
U of M aims to change that this year.
For the 2013 event, the biggest change in the rules is the requirement that all cars have four wheels, versus three. But while more wheels are good for stability and are closer to production vehicles, it’s bad for aerodynamics, causing more drag and wasting precious sun-stolen electrons.