Formula Sun Grand Prix 2013 at COTA


by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and Photojournalist JP HARRINGTON

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

Posted on June 29, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 1 at 9:54 AM

AUSTIN -- With the help of the sun and a little duct tape, they're off.

At speeds of up to 65 miles per hour, collegiate-built solar powered cars even made it up the 133-foot elevation change prior to tun one at Circuit of the Americas.

Neda Abdul-Razzak is president of the University of Texas Solar Vehicles Team. "We got up turn one no problem. Some of the other cars have trouble getting up that turn," she said.

She explained how the cars work. "The sun hits the solar panels, and then the energy is stored inside the batteries. Then the motor runs on the energy in the batteries," she said.

It was definitely the quietest race that's been held so far at COTA. Some of the cars, you couldn't hear at all.

Garages are full of students from 12 different colleges. The University of Texas shares its space with University of Waterloo in Canada.

The teams have been at the track for three days. The winning team will be the one that completes the most laps in a certain time period.

"If the battery is fully charged, you can run anytime, day or night," said Abdul-Razzak.

UT has had a solar car since the 80's but Abdul-Razzak says they're proud of the latest model, which they built new for this race.