Powers Shift on Challenge Day 2
14 Oct 2019
It’s been two days of excitement – and in some cases tension – on the first two days since the cars have departed State Squre in Darwin.
While Top Dutch Solar Racing may have started off in first place, the dynamics have quickly shifted in the Challenger Class, with Solar Team Twente maintaining their provisional lead since late morning yesterday and Top Dutch falling around an hour behind.
Defending winners Vattenfall Solar Team were forced to pull to the side of the road yesterday with a solar array issue on a hill exiting Darwin – compounding the troubles faced by the team following a crash earlier in the week.
Meanwhile Western Sydney Solar Team – after starting at the tail-end of the order with last-minute issues forcing a delay to their campaign – had risen through the field to be competitive with the mid-tier of teams on the first day.
Twente continued to make good of its early start. They currently hold an approximately 20 minute barrier between them and Vattenfall, who are travelling closely behind.
Agoria Solar Team still looks comfortable in provisional third place, a further 5 minutes behind Vattenfall.
Around 15 minutes behind them is Team Sonnenwagen Aachen e.V. in provisional 4th place, coming back strongly after the first day. It’s managed, despite being overtaken, to leapfrog the University of Michigan Solar Car Team, Tokai University Solar Car Team and Top Dutch Solar Racing.
Tokai Univ. and Univ. Michigan have been trading places today; Tokai achieved a successful pass over Michigan on the road heading into Barrow Creek, but Michigan was able to overtake them once again. Top Dutch Solar Racing, who started out yesterday in the lead have fallen behind, currently around an hour behind the leader.
In the Cruiser Class, 2017 Champions Solar Team Eindhoven, also from the Netherlands is satisfied with its performance, with Stella Era consistently carrying three and four passengers.
Sunswift in its two-seater sports coupe ‘Violet’ has been shadowing Eindhoven, travelling at similar speeds. Solar Team Eindhoven were first to arrive in Tennant Creek, followed by Germany’s SolarCar-Team Hochschule Bochum and IVE Engineering from Hong Kong in Sophie 6.
A number of teams in both Cruiser and Challenger Classes have now trailered including: CalSol, Flinders University, Siam Technology, Cambridge, ANU, Halmstad, Al Faisal, and UiTM EcoPhoton. Their solar kilometres travelled up until that point will be counted and they will be ranked accordingly.
Header image via Solar Team Eindhoven