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Race the Sun (1996)

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A bunch of high school misfits in Hawaii, introduced by their new teacher, attend a science fair in which they draw up inspiration to build their own solar car and win a trip to compete in the 1990 World Solar Challenge in Australia.





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Machi (as James Belushi)
Daniel Webster
Cindy Johnson
Jack Fryman
Eduardo Braz
Gilbert Tutu
Marco Quito
Sara Tanaka ...
Uni Kakamura
Oni Nagano
Adriane Napualani Uganiza ...
Luana Kanahele
Hans Kooiman
Robert Hughes ...
Judd Potter
Ed Webster


Idealistic Sandra Beecher has just started working as a Science teacher at Kona-Pali High School in Hawaii, being hired for this job despite her teaching background being English. Her reason for taking the job is largely to run away from the mainland and a failed marriage. She finds that her students are an unmotivated lot, largely because there are low societal expectations of them, including from their parents and the school faculty. As such, she directs a handful of her most unmotivated students to attend a regional science fair at which there are no Kona-Pali displays to come up with their own science fair projects. An incident at the fair does spur one of her students, Daniel Webster, self-professed as not being good at most things but believing he is a good designer, to announce, with the support of his fellow students, that they want to build a solar powered car of his design as their project, and to enter that car in the upcoming Inter-island Race. American Corporate giant, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A dream can make all the difference under the sun.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language and a brief incident of teen drinking | See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

22 March 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La compétition  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,700,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(8 channels)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At the science fair, Marco calls the students from the competing team mahu(s) which is the Hawaiian word for homosexuals. See more »


When introducing herself to the students, Ms. Beecher prints her name on the blackboard. It repeatedly changes between printed and cursive throughout the scene. See more »


Timeless Land
Performed by Yothu Yindi
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User Reviews

A decent film, worth renting at least
18 April 2007 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

When I first saw the film I found it to be interesting, especially since it is set on a famous race. Story isn't bad, a bit of fun as an Australian seeing Americans deal with the conditions here ("What's a Willy Willy?""I don't know"), kind of a fish out of water situation. My only bone of contention is the settings for filming. I am disappointed as a former South Australian, that they didn't use the proper locations of Alice Springs and Adelaide, instead using Broken Hill and Sydney respectively, and I also have a feeling they used Sydney International for the Darwin airport. Also, another inaccuracy, the race is actually run along the Stuart Highway, which is sealed for its entire length

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