American Solar Challenge 2001
For those of you who don't know, both Matt and Loraine competed in a solar car race called SunRayce '97. In fact, Loraine was the team leader for the Principia College entry and was even wearing a SunRayce shirt when she met Matt. So when her team was doing so well in this year's race, we drove down to Southern California to see the finish of the race.

When we arrived about two hours before the cars were expected to cross the finish line, there were already blue and gold Principia balloons flanking the finish line. Over the next hour, over a hundred Principia supporters arrived to cheer on the team -- more than any other school and possibly even more than all the other schools combined! Excited Principia supporters gave out Prin Solar Car temporary tattoos, which Loraine proudly modeled here.

Loraine wasn't the only one to grab a "tattoo" -- this baby holds onto a Prin P with pride!

Supporters anxiously awaited the cars while this race official made sure that the finish line was just perfect for their arrival.

Everyone cheered as the first car crossed the finish line.

The cheering was even louder when Principia's Ra IV and the team crossed the finish line.

The proud team stayed around the car and greeted fans.

You can see why the team did so will -- look at that fast looking paint job! And the 25% efficiency solar cells probably didn't hurt either!

Loraine poses with the car.

In SunRayce '97, Matt's Stanford-Berkeley team came in 3rd place while Principia came in close to 21st. This year, the tables had turned. Sixth place Principia was almost ready to go home by the time the 21st place Stanford car crossed the finish line. Principia's team was proud to have placed better than two Stanford cars, MIT, and several other engineering powerhouses. For those of you that don't know, Principia doesn't even have an engineering department!

The Principia Solar Car Team