Tushka Hashi III is the team’s solar car which has raced in many different states on numerous occasions and has won the championship in the Solar Car Challenge based in Ft.
Worth, Texas, four times.
The solar car team will compete in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge which starts in Darwin and seven days later ends in Adelaide, Australia.
This event attracts universities and high schools from six of the seven continents, plus vendors and tourists from each of those continents as well.
The Choctaw Central team has been recognized and has received multiple awards over the past decade for their well deserved success, said Liddia Hughes, one of the team’s sponsors.
Choctaw Central is the only Native American team in the nation to participate in this type of event.
Hughes said the team will leave for Australia in September where they will participate in such things as inspections and time trials prior to the race in October.
Hughes and the others sponsors, Susan Strickline, Dave Sanders and Adam Lewis, will accompany eight members of the team on the trip.
Teams have seven days to complete the challenge.
The sponsors serve as lead and chase drivers during the event.
The group will camp “on the road,” Hughes said, each day during the challenge.
“They will experience things they will never forget,” she said, noting that they will see camels and other animals during their stay.
The Choctaw Solar Car team competed in the race four years ago.
However, their car broke down much to their disappointment.
That issue has been solved and the team is much better prepared this year, Hughes said.
Only two other teams from the United States are competing at Bridgestone, one from the University of Michigan and the other from Stanford University.
While Hughes said the Choctaw team is not really trying to compete in the race, the goal is to finish and prove “our kids are capable of accomplishments.” Hughes said it is a very competitive event with different countries trying to prove they have the best technology around.
Many have large corporate sponsors.
The Choctaw Solar Car team is currently raising funds for their trip. They host ball games, barbecue sales and golf tournaments to raise money. Anyone who would like to make a donation to the team may call Hughes at 601-663-7802.