Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Before Indy 500’s 100th anniversary race, U-M's solar car Quantum will roll in Formula Sun Grand Prix

U-M's 2011 solar car is set to compete in May in the American Solar Car Challenge: Formula Sun Grand Prix at the100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

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Quantum will race for three days beginning May 5, the finish culminating on May 7 as part of the Emerging Tech Day event. Emerging Tech Day represents the commitment of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to automotive innovation. The Formula Sun Grand Prix represents the first true test of the new Quantum.

“We’re proud to be a part of the Indy 500’s centennial event and Emerging Tech Day,” says Caitlin Sadler, who handles communications for the team. “The Formula Sun Grand Prix will be a great opportunity to put Quantum through its paces a full six months before the World Solar Car Challenge in AustralSia.”

The team is working with the U-M Alumni Club in Indianapolis and the College of Engineering to plan an event on May 7. On display will be Infinium, the 2010 National Champion Solar Car as the 2011 Quantum races around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track. The alumni event will be held in the Legends Row Suite.

Quantum is a cutting edge electric vehicle with an aerodynamic and light carbon fiber body, a high-performance battery and energy-efficient regenerative braking.

The students, who build a new vehicle every two years, completely streamlined the car this time. They took apart the 2009-10 vehicle Infinium — one of the team's heaviest at 500 pounds — and weighed every part, down to the nuts and bolts.

U-M's team will compete in the 1,800-mile World Solar Challenge across the Australian outback in October.