|It was quite a pleasure
to be able to experience and cover Sunrayce 99 while the teams were
in Atlanta. I have been covering international sports car and endurance
racing via the web for several years. The 24 Hours of Le Mans had
just completed and covered 2,957 miles in that one day period. That
is the top endurance event in the world. But here, in our own backyard
was another endurance race being run with high tech cars. In this
event, the teams will cover 1,300 miles and do so in five days, and
they are pioneers in the burgeoning field of renewable energy-powered
cars. I saw history in the making and appreciated what I saw.
20 years ago, I was almost killed in an accident testing a prototype wind-powered generator in the deserts of Arizona while working on the Roden Crater art project. This prototype had blades designed by a little known (at the time) aircraft engineer, Bert Rutan, who has now achieved fame as an aeronautical engineer. I studied passive solar design while living in Sedona, Arizona and visited the solar homes of New Mexico and the solar test facility at Sandia Labs doing research for building my own solar home. That was a long time ago and it was refreshing seeing the effort that the universities of America are putting into designing vehicles that may find a needed place in our future. It was great seeing these young minds work together as teams to get their prototypes from point A in Washington, DC to point B in Orlando, Florida.
And for the sports car racing world, I see a real match between
sports car endurance racing and this new form of endurance racing.
I can hear the chuckles on both sides, but I think that
time will see these two camps blending somehow.