ASC Here We Come!

I don’t know if everyone has noticed the big countdown on our home page, but we have less than a month left until American Solar Challenge 2012! We are and have been diligently preparing for this 1,800 mile race for many months now and all of our work is truly beginning to fit together.

Impulse charging at sunset over bay
As the sun begins to set after a day of racing, we tilt the solar cells to maximize the collected power.

We have team members retrofitting the electrical system, modifying the braking system, creating an interactive steering wheel, and much more. We have also been working hard developing racing strategy as you can see here with us testing our solar array power in the setting sun at the edge of San Francisco Bay.

On June 25, part of our team will be setting out on a cross country drive that will take us 3,000 miles away from the city of Berkeley and land us at the Monticello race track in New York. Here we will first be examined by professional engineers and event staff in a process called scrutineering where we need to prove that our car is safe to drive.

Once that is finished we will compete in the Formula Sun Grand Prix (FSGP) as a qualifying race for the full length endurance portion. The FSGP is an interesting change for us because Impulse is designed to drive for long distances in straight lines at constant speeds – track races are anything but that. This gives us a unique chance to test Impulse’s handling and acceleration when taken to this extreme limit of racing.

After FSGP ends we begin the main segment of the American Solar Challenge (ASC) – the endurance race. We will leave Rochester, New York on July 14, 2012 and race towards Saint Paul, Minnesota getting there on July 21, 2012. I hope each and every one of you reading this will be cheering us all of the way through our racing time because this will be a strenuous and eventful week of driving.

Almost everyone on the team going to ASC has never been to a solar car competition before so this will be an incredibly rewarding experience for every one of us and a wonderful way to spend the summer! Wish us luck racing!

If you’d like to hear more about our progress at the ASC then you can become a friend of CalSol. Please fill out the form on our contact page ( and we will get you subscribed to our friends mailing list where we will be posting our latest news!

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