The 2017 World Solar Challenge is still 16 months away. But in those 16 months, teams have to design, build, and test a solar car, prepare for racing it, and get it and themselves to Australia. That is a great deal of work!
I was chatting to a friend recently about which hopeful teams stand a chance of doing well, and at this stage I would be looking for three positive signs. First, there should be a team (and a suitably diverse one). It is already a little late to be recruiting.
Second, teams should have digested the new regulations and be thinking about the design issues arising from them.
And third, every WSC team has been constrained by financial limits. Consequently, teams should already have their fundraising machinery up and running, including a website and designated fundraising and PR people. The month before the race is not a good time to be trying to raise travel expenses.
I hope that all the teams, especially the newer ones, are up and running in this way!