Canada’s only hope for a top-place finish in the 2010 American Solar Challenge — hailing from Calgary — got off to a speedy start yesterday in Oklahoma.

The University of Calgary solar car, Schulich Axiom, is the only Canadian team in the international competition and the first vehicle to pass all safety inspections for the 1,700-kilometre race from Tulsa to Chicago, Illinois, giving them pole position for the start of the race.

“We’re off to a spectacular start. I’m incredibly proud of our team,” co-chair of the solar team Brandon Heenan said.

The U of C is competing against 14 American teams, two teams from Germany and one from Taiwan.

“We’re the only team representing Canada in this race, and that gives us even more reason to be proud and we’re more determined than ever to see the Schulich Axiom come out on top.”

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