World Solar Challenge: Night-time

Here are the World Solar Challenge GPS positions as at 20:35 Monday October 19 (Darwin time) – the evening of Day 2.

Calculated road distances below are approximate, based on interpolation between towns, and reflect the current positions as teams camp for the night, rather than the furthest point reached in the race. The leaders are Twente (21), Nuon (3), Michigan (2), Tokai (10), and Punch (8), in that order. Tokai and Punch are actually camped at the same spot. At this stage of the game, a few teams have trailered, including Solaris (15), NWU (17), and the troubled Durham (26) in the Challenger class; ITS (31) and Tehran (38) in the Cruiser class; and Liberty (34) and TAFE SA (42) in the Adventure class. Ardingly (43) may also have trailered, given their multiple crises.The background image this evening is the night-time satellite image I discussed last month. Visible patches of light are towns or mining operations. Below the table, I work through another pair of line charts of GPS positions. For tomorrow, there is cloud and rain forecast from Alice Springs southwards, which will slow down the race leaders, while the tail-end cars enjoy plenty of sunshine.


As the shadows lengthen, Twente gets ready to set up camp for the night, and Michigan does static charging (click for credits and full-size images)

21 Twente Netherlands (Red One, Challenger) 1430 km from Darwin
3 Nuon Netherlands (Nuna8, Challenger) 1419 km from Darwin
2 Michigan USA (Aurum, Challenger) 1415 km from Darwin
8 Punch Belgium (Punch One, Challenger) 1393 km from Darwin
10 Tokai Japan (Tokai Challenger, Challenger) 1374 km from Darwin
16 Stanford USA (Arctan, Challenger) 1277 km from Darwin
23 Kecskemét Hungary (MegaLux, Challenger) 1246 km from Darwin
30 Arrow Australia (Arrow1-GT, Challenger) 1216 km from Darwin
88 Kogakuin Japan (OWL, Cruiser) 1211 km from Darwin
40 Eindhoven Netherlands (Stella Lux, Cruiser) 1211 km from Darwin
5 EAFIT Colombia (Primavera, Challenger) 1170 km from Darwin
13 Western Sydney Australia (Unlimited, Challenger) 1164 km from Darwin
77 Blue Sky Canada (Horizon, Challenger) 1119 km from Darwin
25 Goko Japan (Musoushin, Challenger) 1102 km from Darwin
43 Ardingly United Kingdom (Ardingly Solar Car, Cruiser) 1093 km from Darwin
17 NWU South Africa (Sirius X25, Challenger) 1083 km from Darwin (Trailered)
14 UKZN South Africa (Hulamin, Challenger) 1077 km from Darwin
18 EcoPhoton Malaysia (Stingray, Challenger) 988 km from Darwin
35 Minnesota USA (Eos, Cruiser) 988 km from Darwin
47 Nagoya Japan (Horizon Z, Challenger) 988 km from Darwin
46 JU Sweden (Solbritt, Challenger) 988 km from Darwin
38 Tehran Iran (Persian Gazelle III, Cruiser) 986 km from Darwin (Trailered)
11 Bochum Germany (SunRiser, Cruiser) 986 km from Darwin
75 Sunswift Australia (eVe, Cruiser) 980 km from Darwin
51 Kanazawa Japan (Golden Eagle 5.1, Challenger) 977 km from Darwin
33 HK IVE Hong Kong (Sophie V, Cruiser) 977 km from Darwin
32 Principia USA (Ra 9, Challenger) 902 km from Darwin
12 Cambridge United Kingdom (Evolution, Challenger) 882 km from Darwin
36 Anadolu Turkey (Sunatolia 2, Challenger) 874 km from Darwin
82 KUST Korea (Baek-Ho, Challenger) 827 km from Darwin
28 Singapore Singapore (SunSPEC4, Cruiser) 827 km from Darwin
45 Lodz Poland (Eagle One, Cruiser) 827 km from Darwin
9 Adelaide Australia (Lumen, Challenger) 777 km from Darwin
34 Liberty USA (Solis Bellator, Adventure) 726 km from Darwin (Trailered)
80 Beijing China (Sunshuttle II, Challenger) 722 km from Darwin
20 Houston USA (Sundancer, Adventure) 713 km from Darwin
7 MIT USA (Arcturus, Challenger) 712 km from Darwin
31 ITS Indonesia (Widya Wahana V, Cruiser) 633 km from Darwin (Trailered)
15 Solaris Turkey (DesTech Solaris, Challenger) 633 km from Darwin (Trailered)
22 Siam Thailand (STC-1, Challenger) 633 km from Darwin
26 Durham United Kingdom (DUSC2015, Challenger) 633 km from Darwin (Trailered)

In the Challenger class, the leading pack of five have started to spread out a little (Michigan is blogging about the race at umsolar25.tumblr.com). Stanford (16) has edged ahead of Kecskemét (23), to take sixth place. Arrow (30) is eighth. EAFIT (5) and Western Sydney (13) have been duelling for ninth place. Blue Sky (77) is eleventh, while UKZN (14) and Goko High School (25) have been fighting for twelfth. The grey line for Nagoya (47) shows a lengthy stop after Dunmarra, suggesting a serious problem (update: apparently a strong wind tore the top off their car). Jönköping University (46) is just ahead of Nagoya, with Kanazawa (51) behind. The swift dotted line for EcoPhoton (18) suggests trailering, but Principia (32), Anadolu (36), KUST (82), Cambridge (12), Adelaide (9), and Beijing (80) still seem to be in the race. MIT (7) looks to have stopped, and Siam (22) seems to have lost tracking at Dunmarra. Principia, by the way, have several nice photos in their Picasa album.

In the Cruiser class, Eindhoven (40) have been running at the same speed as Kogakuin (88), neither gaining nor falling behind. However, as their short English-language video explains, they carried a passenger. Bochum (11), Minnesota (35), and Sunswift (75) also maintained formation, while the green line for Ardingly (43) is moving up so fast that they must either be trailered or be burning rocket fuel. The red and dark grey lines for Lodz (45) and HK IVE (33), on the other hand, have fallen back to meet Singapore (28). Lodz just seems to be running more slowly, but HK IVE were stopped at Dunmarra for several hours, suggesting a repair job of some kind (update: confirmed on Facebook). Since the timing board does not give them credit for reaching Dunmarra, they may also have trailered. In the Adventure class, Houston (20) are the only non-trailered team. Although it’s not shown on the timing board, they seem to have reached Dunmarra just before closing time at 15:00.

Looking back to yesterday, Bochum posted a nice summary video. Eindhoven also summarised Day 1 in a Dutch video, but did not explain what yesterday’s problem was – at the time they decided not to waste too much time diagnosing it, and just ran on their one working motor. Either they have fixed it now, or one motor is enough to keep up with Kogakuin. Other Day 1 stories were posted by Stanford (blog) and Kogakuin (video).


Principia sets up tents and relaxes for the night (click for credits and full-size images). Good night to all the teams!


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11 thoughts on “World Solar Challenge: Night-time

  1. Another great post Tony.

    Just a note about Tokai. Their tracker did not update at the end of the day, the last update being at 4.49pm, so I would guess that they may be 15km or so closer to Punch and the others.

  2. Thanks for all the effort, really look forward to your updates and charts.

    This however begs a question:
    “Calculated road distances below are approximate, based on interpolation between towns”

    Why don’t you use the coordinates from the WSC tracker page and Google to get the exact distance?

    • Well, I *am* using the GPS coordinates from the tracker API, but doing all those Google lookups would be rather slow. What I’m doing is at most a few km off, and (most importantly) doesn’t affect the relative distance between cars.

  3. Wonderful overviews, I really dive into them to get an idea of what went on. And it gives a lot more information than the official WSC Timing board which only looks at times in the last control stops.
    I was already amazed by Ardingly moving up the ranks so well; was wondering how a solid but less fancy car could apparently do so great. Could imagine CUER eating their hearts out. I have a hard time understanding why CUER doesn’t seem to be able to race faster; doesn’t their array give them enough energy to speed up?

    What a race at the front of the Challenger class; very curious to find out what happens tomorrow when the weather is expected to be less bright in the south.
    I also expect Eindhoven to win some time back on Kokaguin and not just rely on the fact that they race with twice the number of people. Will we be seeing more from Sunswift on day 3?

    • I’m guessing Ardingly have trailered, and perhaps a few other teams as well. Regarding weather, today I’m expecting to see an “edge” for those teams that took a meteorologist along.

      • CUER posted they had to stop to cool their battery at about 16:30 which meant they couldn’t do static charging. Before they had some trouble with a bolt that came loose.
        They have trailered Evolution. Such a pity, I was so hoping to see them do much better.

  4. Hi, is the (raw) data of your progress graphs available?
    And maybe you could include the checkpoint data in these lines, so the checkpoints are better represented. Time and locations of these points is known.
    Otherwise keep up the good work!

  5. A big day for the Cruisers today. Kogakuin and Eindhoven have it easy, they just have to travel a bit over 280km to Alice so they can give it all they’ve got.

    For the other’s though it’s a different matter. Bochum and Minnesota have to get from Tennant Creek to Alice, 506km, and UNSW and IVE even further. If they do not make it they will have to trailer their cars and will effectively be out of the competition leaving two teams to complete(maximum). Obviously none of these cars have averaged 500km per day in the first two days so they will have to find something special today.

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