American Solar Challenge 2018, A Challenging Race Route

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The race will begin in Omaha, Nebraska and finish ~1,780 miles (2,864 meters) later in Bend, Oregon, somewhat following the Oregon Trail.
The route was chosen by ASC officials in-part due to the drier climate that these western states provide, since most of the 2016 American Solar Challenge was troubled with rain and clouds.

This route will go through some stunning scenery, but will not be an easy race.

University of Kentucky Solar Car


With the new regulations, solar cars are limited to four square meters of silicon array. That’s two square meters less than the 2016 American Solar Challenge. Teams are allowed to use a supplementary array (up to 2 extra square meters of silicon), this is only during the charging events, not while driving.


However, the largest challenge in this route has been dubbed “The Big Climb” as teams will have to push their cars to the limits as an elevation change of ~3,000 feet (~915 meters) happens in about 30 miles (~48 kilometers) during the start of the third stage.

Elevation data for the third stage

Elevation data for the third stage

As for the entire race, the chart below shows the total elevation change from Omaha to Bend, which is around 3,280 feet (~1,000 meters).

Elevation data for all of ASC 2018

Elevation data for all of ASC 2018

For mileage, teams are looking at:

  • Stage 1: 492.6 miles (~792 kilometers)
  • Stage 2: 355.3 miles (~571 kilometers)
  • Stage 3: 395.7 miles (~636 kilometers)
  • Stage 4: 395.0 miles (~636 kilometers)
  • Stage 5: 136.1 miles (~218 kilometers)

And finally, a complete map of the 2018 American Solar Challenge race route:

ASC 2018 Route Map

ASC 2018 Route Map

It is sure to be an exciting race!  The 2018 American Solar Challenge Schedule of Events:

Event Schedule

With a slightly longer runtime than that of previous events, the 2018 challenge will take place during the following:

  • July 6th – 9th — Scrutineering
  • July 10th – 12th — Formula Sun Grand Prix
  • July 13th — Display and Multi-Occupant Practicality Judging
  • July 14th – 22nd — American Solar Challenge
source:  Missouri S&T Solar Car Team