The chart above (click to zoom) is the first of my classic race charts for this year’s race (a number of data issues have held me up). The chart, which only shows the 15 surviving Challengers, is drawn with reference to a baseline speed of 83.89 km/h. This is the speed that would complete the race (to end of timing) in 4 days and 5 hours (that’s a substantially slower baseline than I used in 2015). The vertical axis shows how far behind the baseline cars are driving. Straight lines represent cars driving at a consistent speed. There are several things to note here:
- 3: Nuon: Nuon have engaged in superb weather strategy, which they describe here. They have sped up and slowed down to catch the sun.
- 10: Tokai: Tokai slowed down substantially after Barrow Creek. They posted on Facebook that they were happy about being second into Alice Springs, but gave no explanation for their slower speed.
- 15 & 88: WSU & Kogakuin: These two teams are running together. Both have slowed since Tennant Creek, and neither has explained why.
- 25: Nagoya (NIT): This team also slowed after Tennant Creek, without explaining why.
- 71: ITU: The “Bees On Wheels” are running absolutely borderline in terms of finishing the race on time. Even a small amount of bad luck could see them drop back to Adventure class.