Florida students' solar car burns past competition

If there's one thing kids from Florida know about, it's the sun.

Harnessing the sun's energy, they sent a solar-powered car racing down a San Antonio speedway and into first place.

The team of 15 budding engineers and environmentalists from South Plantation Senior High have been working after school for three years on the 650-pound car, dubbed the Solar Knight II.

After four days of racing and 395 laps, the Solar Knight II whipped across the finish line of the National Dell Winston Solar Car Challenge at the not-so-neck-snapping speed of 48 mph.

Not bad for a car crafted out of junkyard parts and electrical tape.

``It's the burden of the Sunshine State, but we're happy we could do well for Florida,'' said Jason Rosen, 17, one of the co-captains of the squad.

``Even though it rains here all the time, it definitely was a big motivation knowing that we were representing our state.''

Speaking of rain, although the Solar Knight II raced all 592 miles on the power of the sun, it is equipped with a small battery that can keep it moving in case the clouds roll in.

The team has been working three years on perfecting its solar car. When South Plantation first came to the competition, the Solar Knight I came in last place.

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