PROVISIONAL UPDATE DAY 4 - HEADWIND HAVOC FOR CRUISERS AS INNOPTUS & TWENTE FLY TOWARDS HOME
25 Oct 2023
Unseasonal headwinds took the cruise out of the CSIRO Cruiser Class today with none of the competitive teams making the critical 5pm time point into the NRMA Control stop at Coober Pedy this afternoon.
Though half the field had made the first critical time point, driving nearly 1,000 km before charging, they were unable to complete the second stage.
As this is unprecedented, event officials are now considering how tomorrow’s final Cruiser stage will play out. Teams are now enjoying outback hospitality in the opal capital of the world, Coober Pedy. They’ll get a chance to enjoy the serenity at one of the most remote Drive-In movie theatres, watching an iconic Australian film classic, The Castle.
In the Projecta Challenger Class, the Belgian team Innoptus in Infinite, the solar car with the futuristic fin, it was another story. Their revolutionary, rotating, retractable fin was able to enhance their aerodynamics, reaching speeds of more than 100 km per hour. The sleek, monohull RED X from the Netherlands’ Team Twente, was hot on their tail, doing their best all day to close the gap, seesawing between 20 and 50 kilometres.
The chase is on for the lead. At the close of day, they are both south of the final control stop in Port Augusta, with Innoptus camped 213 kilometres from Adelaide and Twente 252 kilometres from the finish line.
In third position, Dutch team Brunel in Nuna 12 are 80 kilometres north of Port Augusta and are looking unlikely to regain their 2017 Championship. US team Michigan in Astrum are a further 100 kilometres back, ahead of Germany’s Sonnenwagen in Covestro Adelie who have moved into 5th ahead of Japan’s team Tokai. The Netherlands Top Dutch in Green Thunder is just five kilometres from Tokai and are now south of Coober Pedy. Sweden’s JU in Axelight, Japan’s Kogakuin in Koga and the UK’s Durham in DUSC2023 round out the Top 10 and are all camped just north of Coober Pedy.
Event Director Chris Selwood AM said the leading Projecta Challenger class solar cars are expected at City of Adelaide’s Victoria Square finish line at around 10.30 am tomorrow morning (note this is Event Time, Darwin).
‘With under an hour between these two incredible teams, I look forward to an exciting finish and welcoming all our teams home,’ Chris said.
For the full leaderboard and to follow team progress visit the VAILO Car Tracker.
Photo Credit: Frankie the Creative