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23 Oct 2023


Belgian team, Innoptus set the pace in ‘Infinite’, with its revolutionary fin that can harness crosswinds, taking an early lead in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, reaching the first NRMA Control Stop at Katherine at 11.29 am Darwin time, leading the field by five minutes. Starting second on the grid, they set a blistering pace overtaking German team Sonnenwagen Aachen, signalling an early intent to lead from the front.  

By the second NRMA Control Stop, Dunmarra, Innoptus, with an average speed of 96 kph, had extended their lead over Brunel in Nuna 12 to 13 minutes, arriving at 3.09 pm. As expected, the Brunel whose 2019 campaign went up in smoke so close to the Adelaide finish line, were also coming in hot, averaging 92 kph and were the second team to reach Dunmarra. They were followed by their compatriots Team Twente, in RED X, steadily moving up the field overtaking by Sonnenwagen Aachen. At the end of the first day, some 66 kilometres separated the four frontrunners with leader Innoptus, 775 km from the start, followed by Brunel, with Twente 39 km behind in third and Sonnenwagen Aachen just four kilometres further back.   Japan’s team Tokai, compatriots Kogakuin, University of Michigan, and Top Dutch are all together in Dunmarra. Tokai will be first out in the morning.

In the CSIRO solar electric Cruiser Class, at the end of the day, Australia’s Sunswift, in Sunswift 7, was camped at Daly Waters. Leading the field with a current score of 35.2, which reflects both energy and efficiency, and well placed with a score more than double their closest competitors Minnesota in Gaia and  Solaride 2 from Estonia. Unlike the Projecta Challenger Class, the Cruisers are not judged on speed, but criteria including energy efficiency and design appeal. 

For the full leaderboard and to follow team progress, visit the VAILO Car Tracker page.

Photo Credit: Frankie The Creative.