The University Record, June 7, 1993

Maize & Blue in Texas; race begins June 20

Twenty-one U-M students and their 650-pound, solar-powered car—Maize & Blue—arrived in San Angelo, Texas, last week to begin testing and training for Sunrayce 93.

The race is scheduled to begin June 20 in Arlington, Texas, and conclude June 26 in Minneapolis, Minn.

Maize & Blue is one of 36 student-designed solar-powered cars competing in Sunrayce 93, a 1,000 mile, seven-day race sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors Corp., the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

In 1990, another team of U-M students and their car, Sunrunner, won GM Sunrayce USA and placed third in the World Solar Challenge—a 1,900-mile race across Australia.

This year’s team also plans to race Maize & Blue in the 1993 World Solar Challenge, which begins Nov. 7 in Australia.

“Our goal is to win a national championship for the University in June and a world championship in November,” says Furqan Nazeeri, team project manager.

About 100 students on the team have been preparing for Sunrayce 93 since summer 1991. More than 85,000 hours of work have been devoted to the project by students in the College of Engineering, School of Business Administration, School of Art and LS&A.

“Working on Maize & Blue was an opportunity to put what we’ve learned in the classroom to work,” says Nazeeri, a senior majoring in aerospace engineering. “We were able to take a car from paper to reality, and that’s something most engineers never have the chance to do in their entire careers.”

Maize & Blue’s current market value totals $353,000. With the exception of its solar cells, nearly all of the car’s components were donated by corporate sponsors, including Ford Motor Co., Christy Industries Inc. of Frazier, and Briggs Industries of Chesterfield.