Palmdale High School’s Solar Falcon Race Team unveiled their new car, the Solar Falcon 2.0 and will soon be on their way to Fort Worth, Texas, to compete in the 2016 Solar Car Challenge.
The cross country-competition will take place July 17-23 and students from around the country will meet at the Texas Motor Speedway. Vehicles that pass inspection will then start their journey to Minneapolis, Minn., — approximately 786 miles.
“It just goes to show that if you give kids an opportunity and guidance, they can truly accomplish anything,” said Antek Ignatowicz, who teaches chemistry and physics at the school and serves as the team’s head adviser. “This is an economically challenged area — without our sponsors and supporters, our kids would never have the opportunity to experience and learn the things that this project has provided. It’s been pretty amazing to see the kids grow and learn so much.”
Sponsors include Lockheed Martin, AVTA, BYD, DJ Racing, Safety Equipment, PFMG Solar, Willow Spring Raceway, The Spaceship Company, Jay Leno’s Garage, California Coating, Cycle Barn and White Goose Bar Racing.
“Our whole community has been great,” said Bryan Alcantra, CEO of the team. “I’m really thankful for the job Nick at AVTA did on our wrap job, and everyone at All Promotions Etc. They have been very good to us.”
The car has had modifications including lengthening and lifting the suspension about four inches. They also added a carbon fiber battery box and made moveable solar panels to follow the sun and reduced the vehicles weight from 1,262 pounds to 1,062 pounds.
“The weight difference alone should help with mileage,” said Alcantra. “Next year we will be working with The Spaceship Company to build a whole new car.” Alcantra, a senior, said he plans on supporting the program for years to come.