Interior of the thyssenkrupp blue.cruiser, the car from Hochschule Bochum
My “Sustainability” gem for the World Solar Challenge goes to Hochschule Bochum for their elegant interior, finished with renewable natural products such as pineapple leather, vegetable linens, wood, and cork.
The “Sustainability” gem goes to Hochschule Bochum
The car we did not see, Persian Gazelle 4 from the University of Tehran
The “Sexy Car” gem goes to the car we did not see, Persian Gazelle 4 from the University of Tehran. This car was heavily damaged in transit, and was unable to race. It looked beautiful, though, being reminiscent of a Lamborghini Aventador.
The “Sexy Car” gem goes to the University of Tehran
Red Shift, the car from Solar Team Twente
Previously awarded was the “Best Solar Car Name” gem, to Solar Team Twente, for their car name, Red Shift. Twente’s car name was a reference to the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy, as well as continuing the naming sequence previously established with their Red Engine (2013) and Red One (2015) – and being a really, really geeky way of saying “eat my dust.” The car was indeed very fast.
The “Best Solar Car Name” gem went to Solar Team Twente
Above, the calendar for November (click for hi-res image). See more calendars here.
Nuna9, the car from Nuon Solar Team
It has been my tradition to hand out “Gem Awards” after major solar car races. This WSC, the “Faster Than Lightning” gem again goes to Nuon Solar Team, the undefeated Challenger champions.
The 2017 “Faster Than Lightning” gem goes to Nuon Solar Team
Stella Vie, the car from Solar Team Eindhoven
The “Solar Family Car” gem again goes to Solar Team Eindhoven. They completely dominated the Cruiser class.
The 2017 “Solar Family Car” gem goes to Solar Team Eindhoven
Western Sydney Solar Team
The “Solar Car Family” gems go to Western Sydney Solar Team, for the way that they welcomed international teams passing through Sydney. Western Sydney Solar Team are, of course, also Australian champions in the Challenger class.
The 2017 “Solar Car Family” gems go to Western Sydney Solar Team
Based on data from the WSC web site, the final race chart above (click to zoom) shows Challenger-class timings (for the cars that did not trailer). It 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. The left vertical axis shows how far behind the baseline cars are driving. Straight lines represent cars driving at a consistent speed. The right vertical axis shows arrival time at “end of timing” in Darwin time (Adelaide time is an hour later). The twists and turns of the lines here reveal many of the dramatic events of the race, such as the spate of bad weather. The chart below shows average speeds.
Before the World Solar Challenge, I made up up some posters of personal picks (below, click to zoom). How did I do? The top five Challengers these year were indeed as in 2015, although in a different order. Eindhoven and Bochum indeed look like they will be first and second in the Cruisers (although Sunswift, with their car problems, did less well than I expected).
Among my “dark horses,” Western Sydney improved on their 2015 result to come 6th (making them Australian champions!) and Kogakuin’s radical design came 7th. Aachen did not do as well as I expected; nor did the South African car. Stanford look like they might come 11th, but none of my speculative Cruiser picks made the top 3 (which makes me sad; I like those cars even more now I’ve seen them up close). At the time I made the picks, Arrow had not revealed much information, so I did not anticipate how strong their Cruiser debut would be. Congratulations to them and to all the teams!
The chart above (click to zoom) is another of my classic race charts for this year’s race. Five Challengers have arrived, and two more are expected tomorrow afternoon. The chart 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. The right vertical axis shows arrival time at “end of timing” in Darwin time (Adelaide time is an hour later). Open coloured circles show simplistically extrapolated arrival times.
Update Friday: Aachen (70) still seems to be in the race. Guestimates for Cruiser arrival times are given as coloured squares. Unfortunately the WSC web site is misbehaving again, so there are no reliable control stop times for today.