Team PrISUm enjoys its best day on the road during the American Solar Challenge

AMES, Iowa - Team PrISUm raced 150 miles, climbed some big Missouri hills and passed three competitors during Thursday's fifth day of the 1,100-mile American Solar Challenge.

Those passes - including zipping past the car from the University of Texas - won't move the team up in the standings, though. Iowa State's team is hours behind other competitors because of multiple electrical failures during the race for student-designed and student-built solar-powered cars.

And even with a three-hour delay for morning repairs, it was the team's best day on the road so far.

"The car was really strong," said Pat Sanderson, a senior from Iowa City who's majoring in mechanical engineering and is the team's project director. "It went up absolutely huge hills. There was no electrical frying. No overheating. It was a solid, solid day.

"Everybody is saying, 'Oh, you guys really did bring a fast car.'"

Anthelion - Team PrISUm's car is named after the halo that sometimes appears opposite the sun - ended its race day 15 miles outside Thursday's checkpoint in Alton, Ill. The team will have to race 210 miles on Friday to make the race's next stage stop in Normal, Ill. The race from Broken Arrow, Okla., ends in Naperville, Ill., on Saturday.

Race officials now list Team PrISUm in 12th place among the 13 remaining teams.

When they go racing on Friday, team drivers are hoping they'll finally have cruise control and a working dashboard. The various electrical failures have wiped out both tools. So team members were staying up Thursday night to make repairs.

Could all that work add up to another solid day on the road?

Well, Sanderson said, "everything is looking good."