It’s time to wrap up coverage of Day 1 of the World Solar Challenge. I won’t talk about the start (many people already have). Instead, I’ll concentrate on the two charts, above (for Challengers) and below (for Cruisers and the Adventure class). In these charts (click to zoom), distance from Darwin runs vertically upwards, so that higher means further, and steeper lines means faster travel. Horizontal lines mean that a car is stationary (e.g. at a control stop).
The top five teams are Michigan (2), Tokai (10), Nuon (3), Twente (21), and Punch (8). All are in Dunmarra, and not much separates them. The top right of the chart shows that some of these teams have backtracked to find a camping spot for the night (Punch found time to upload photographs to Facebook). Kecskemét (23) and Stanford (16) are fighting it out for sixth place. Western Sydney (13) is eighth, and apparently Arrow (30) finished at the same spot (their GPS is not working, so they are not shown on the chart). EAFIT (5) is tenth, Nagoya (47) is eleventh, and Blue Sky (77) is twelfth (after falling behind and catching up). Goko High School (25) is thirteenth, followed by the two South African teams (14. UKZN and 17. NWU), and Kanazawa (51) in sixteenth place. Then comes JU (46), who had to stop twice for minor repairs. Cambridge (12) apparently reached about the same spot as JU. Principia (32) is next, having slowed down for some reason. After them come Anadolu (36), KUST (82), and MIT (7).
Adelaide (9) started off okay, but have visibly slowed down for some reason. Siam (22), on the other hand, started with problems and then sped up (which may well mean that they trailered their vehicle). Beijing (80), EcoPhoton (18), and Solaris (15) also had serious problems. If those last five cars do not pick up the pace, they will start finding control stops closed, and will need to trailer. Durham (26) trailered to Katherine right from the start, hoping to do repairs and get back into the race.
Punch’s blog reports that they needed to stop for a tire change (click for blog post and full-size original)
In the Cruiser class, Kogakuin (88) and Eindhoven (40) have been fighting for the lead, with Owl finishing about 28 km ahead of Stella Lux. The parallel lines in the chart show that both cars are equally fast – but a motor controller problem slowed Eindhoven down. A lot will hang on how many passengers Eindhoven is carrying (apparently one, although the video they posted in Katherine does not discuss this). HK IVE (33) has overtaken Bochum (11) – putting them in third place, with Minnesota (35) fifth. Sunswift (75) have overcome yesterday’s problems to run fairly well. Lodz (45), on the other hand, have slowed down a bit to run neck-and-neck with Sunswift.
Tehran (38) has run much slower than some people expected, and ITS (31) has clearly had some kind of serious problem. Singapore (28) have reached Katherine and have posted a video to prove it. It mentions an issue with cross-winds, which their car design would indeed have a problem with. Ardingly (43) had several serious problems, and have almost certainly trailered.
In the Adventure class, TAFE SA (42) are not shown on the chart, although they have apparently reached Mataranka. Liberty (34) and Houston (20) were both running reasonably well, though probably not fast enough to avoid eventually trailering. Let’s see what Day 2 will bring – the weather still looks to be sunny all the way along the road, as far as Alice Springs!
Lodz (45) heading towards Katherine, and Ardingly (43) needing repair (click for full-size originals)