Going into the week, most Bobcats interviewed by local press hoped for a finish in the top 3. While last year's top 5 finish deserved to be bested, the number of entrants for the race doubled creating a much tougher challange. However, with 2 hours to go the Byron Nelson Solar team essentially locked out the competition with such a large distance over the 4th place team that there was no question their predictions and goals would be reached.
Cliff Campbell started the day driving Cat2.0. He was the 6th different driver in as many stages for the Bobcats; and he came out very aggressive to start the race. One hour into the race the Bobcat Solar Racing team held a 3 lap lead over the fastest cars. In fact, if the Bobcats gambled with their battery the remainder of the morning they may have won session 6. However, it would have been at the cost of potentially the afternoon run and a lock in at 3rd place. The team managed 43 laps for the morning beating 4th palce Devon Panel of Virginia by 9 laps.
In the afternoon, the team went back to Dane Fusselman, the lightest driver on the team, to run the first hour and get the needed laps before locking in 3rd. Once that happened, the team switched out various drivers and we took turns driving the car much harder with speeds approaching 40 miles for several laps before a structural member holding the solar array cracked. At that point the Bobcats pulled Cat2.0 off the track for good ending the afternoon session 75min early but with 3rd place well in hand.
For the Bobcats, 3rd place was truely something to be proud of. Of the cars designed with similar style and characteristics, they were indeed the best car on the track. To move into 2nd or 1st, the team will need to make another level of commitment (financially and technically) to get even lighter, more aerodynamic, more efficient and more brilliant. The team wants to go for it. Cat 3.0????
At the awards banquet that evening, the team was presented its 3rd place trophy. They were also the recipient of the Team Sportsmanship Award and acknowledged by Dr Lehman Marks for the support and commitment to Solar Racing.
Captain Matt Klauser was designated into the Order of the Solar Cell for the second consecutive year. He provided a nicely done closing speech to the 300+ in attendance thanking his advisors, judges and Dr Marks for a well won race.
The Bobcats 414 miles over 21 hours (276 laps) was 36 miles farther than 4th place. They bettered the other Texas schools by 78 miles and more.
|1||The Houston Lady Racers||339||508.5|
|2||Saint Thomas Academy EVT||334||501.0|
|3||Bobcats Solar Racing Team||276||414.0|
|4||The Devon Panel||252||378.0|
|6||Coppell Solar Racing Team||217||325.5|
|7||Newton County Solar Racing Team||208||312.0|
|9||Stony Point High School Solar Car Team||191||286.5|
|10||Piney Wood Raycers||175||262.5|
|11||Sunshine Mountain Traveler||155||232.5|
|1||Houston Solar Race Team||443||664.5|
|3||Walnut Solar Car||106||159.0|