UK solar car team traveling nearly 1,000 miles in competition


LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – The UK Solar Car Team is continuing their competition this week while participating in the American Solar Car Challenge. The team will travel almost 1,000 miles and is currently in Colorado.

The Solar Car Team is a student-led organization at the University of Kentucky that works to construct solar-powered vehicles and compete in national competitions. The team right now is participating in the American Solar Challenge with their vehicle Gato del Sol VI.

“This year from Independence, Missouri all the way a little over 900 miles to Santa Fe, New Mexico and so that’s what we are currently right now driving on our way there,” solar car team manager Chris Wheatley, Jr. said.

How it works is one team is in the lead car, then the solar car, and then a tail car all to make sure things run smoothly.

“Getting 15 people in a caravan to go 1,000 miles, it’s a lot of communication that we have to work on a whole lot of making sure that everyone is on the same page. That we all know what we’re doing on a given day knowing what people’s jobs are,” Wheatley, Jr. said.

Last week the team made history by winning the national competition the Formula Sun Grand Prix.

“But I think the biggest thing out of this is, like I said, that Formula Sun Grand Prix win was one for the history books it’s the first time that UK— Kentucky, has ever won,” Wheatley, Jr. said.

This would be their first win since entering the competition in 2009 and they are working hard on their current competition.

“We’re thankful and supportive of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, being the state’s kind of flagship team. There is one in Berea, but we are the only competing team, so we are very thankful of our friends and supporters back home,” Wheatley, Jr. said. “That belief that, hey we can do awesome things with solar energy in Kentucky.”

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