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Badgerloop team at ASC/FSGP 2023
July 11, 2023

Badgerloop team wins American Solar Challenge Rookie of the Year

Written By: Caitlin Scott



The Badgerloop Team had an impressive showing at the Electrek Formula Sun Grand Prix 2023 competition earlier this month. The Electrek FSGP is 3 days of racing on the 2.5 mile road course at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kansas.

ME student Jay Yoo
Jay Yoo

Mechanical engineering student and outgoing Badgerloop Mechanical Director Jay Yoo shared that the team went through a rough time these last couple of years. “When we transitioned from a hyperloop team to a solar car racing team, it was tough on the members to contribute because it was unclear what our goals were, if their work would be worth it at the end, or even what the competition was going to look like. In the past, our goals were set to win competitions and compete with some of the best engineering schools around the world, but now we were starting back from square one to develop and gather the knowledge needed to build a solar car and have it perform reliably.”

“Due to our lack of knowledge, resources, and experience with solar car racing, our goals this year were pretty simple and we took baby steps to get here today,” Yoo continued. “Our main goals were to 1) design, build, and test a working solar car, 2) pass scrutineering and dynamic testing, and 3) learn as much as we can in preparation for the following years. I can say proudly that we’ve been able to do all of those things.”

Looking forward

ME student Brooke Ehle

Brooke Ehle, ME student and incoming Badgerloop Mechanical Director, also had a great time at FSGP 2023. “Over the last semester, our team made a big push towards manufacturing a car to what we considered to be our minimum viable product, a car that would hopefully pass scrutineering and have the goal of driving one lap around the 2.5 mile track,” she shared.

“Days leading up to leaving for the competition we were still all hands on deck trying to get everything done, working towards getting our car ready to drive. With many late nights at the competition, both for our electrical and mechanical teams, we were able to pass scrutineering (this was the first time in Badgerloop history that our team was able to pass scrutineering between the hyperloop and solar car eras) and drive our car for the first time during brake testing the night before the track race started. Over the three-day track race we were able to start and end the race with all of the other teams on the track and managed to drive 230 miles on the track (92 laps). On top of being able to complete these laps we were also awarded Rookie of the Year due to the fact that out of all the first-year teams there, our car was the only complete original.”

Congratulations to the whole team on all your hard work! Yoo and Ehle extend additional thanks to the TeamLab staff, Badgerloop sponsors, Glenn Bower, and all the other extremely helpful teams at the event (some even providing spare parts and expertise). We can’t wait to see what the team achieves next year at FSGP/ASC 2024!

Read more about Badgerloop.

Badgerloop team at ASC/FSGP 2023
The UW Badgerloop team at the American Solar Challenge Electrek Formula Sun Grand Prix 2023 in Topeka, Kansas. Picture provided by Brooke Ehle.