What started as a school project has turned into a great adventure for recent Animas High School graduates Dominique “Domi” Frideger and Dylan Kroes as they prepare to enter the Solar Car Challenge in Texas.
“Dylan and I have literally devoted every waking moment of the past five months to the completion of our solar car,” Frideger wrote in his blog late Wednesday, “and today would be the day when we finally got to taste some of the sweet nectar known as resolution. We had set our minds to do something that to many seemed impossible and had seemed out of reach to us for a long time, and finally, against all odds, we were here, in a Motel 6 parking lot within sight of the Texas Motor Speedway.”
The duo, along with their safety support team including both sets of parents – Tim and Susan Kroes and Susan Raleigh and Dan Frideger – Frideger’s sister, Grace, and a fellow AHS alumnus Will Brako, officially registered Thursday morning. Their car, named Solis, will undergo meticulous “scrutineering” through Friday to ensure it is safe to drive in the challenge’s six-day competition from Texas to Minnesota.
The two 18-year-olds designed and built their solar car with a lot of help from the Durango community, including workspace courtesy of La Plata Electric Association and StoneAge Waterblast Tools, expertise by solar experts and electrical engineers and about $14,000 in financial contributions for materials and trip expenses.
“We just completed media day at the Texas Motor Speedway!” Frideger wrote on the team’s Facebook Page on Wednesday. “It was a success, and Solis seemed to fit right in. We had the opportunity to go around the Speedway today, and everything went successfully. We got up to 33 mph and traveled just over 3 miles.”
Before they went to Texas, the two students said going 25 mph would be quite a success.
“In the scheme of things, our car does not look too out of place and is by no means the least well-built car in the race,” Frideger said, listing the areas that might be problematic. “We will, of course, keep a close eye on all of those areas and are working on a solution to half of them tonight and tomorrow. Today gave us serious hope, though, that we may actually have a chance of offering competition in this race.”
To follow Dominique “Domi”Frideger and Dylan Kroes in their attempt to race in the Solar Car Challenge, like their Facebook page Team Energy Audacity.