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06-18-1999

Knights Officially Qualify For Sunrayce '99

WASHINGTON, D.C. (6/19/99) –It's official.

The Clarkson University solar car racing team has qualified for Sunrayce '99, which starts here Sunday.

Hyperion, Clarkson's solar-powered car, will start seventh, the highest starting position for any car in the team's history.

Sunrayce '99, sponsored by General Motors, EDS, and the U.S. Department of Energy, will feature 30 schools from North America and Japan racing their student-designed, student-built and student-driven cars from the nation's capital to Orlando, Fla., a 1,300-mile competition over 10 days. Clarkson's best finish in the race was 18th in 1995.

Hyperion successfully completed Final Scrutineering in Charles Town, W. Va., Thursday. The two-day event allowed Sunrayce officials a second opportunity to inspect cars that passed the initial scrutineering held in Milford, Mich., last month.

Hyperion was subjected to a battery of driving tests and inspections from Sunrayce judges who held final say as to whether the car met all race regulations and thus safe enough to enter in competition. Tests included:

Sizing and Body: Judges checked for ballast, solar panel measurement and cockpit visibility, proper graphics, cockpit spacing for the driver, and driver egress.

Mechanical: The steering system was closely inspected as well as the clearance of the body from the tires.

Electrical: Inspectors looked at the wiring of the solar array and standard electrical features that must exist in all Sunrayce solar cars.

Support & Impound: Each of the support vehicles --lead, chase and off-route were inspected for proper safety devices.

Dynamic: Cars must successfully complete a figure 8 within a certain time limit.

Ironically, weather may play a big part in the opening stages of Sunrayce. Forecasters are calling for partly cloudy skies on Sunday, which will force teams to rely more upon the energy stored within the cars' batteries than Mother Nature herself.

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHS FROM EACH DAY'S RACE LEG WILL BE POSTED BY SUNRAYCE AFTER 9 P.M. DAILY AT http://www.sunrayce.com/sunrayce.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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