ASC 31: Road Race Day 3

Casper arrival (picture credits: 1, 2)

Compared to previous iterations, this American Solar Challenge is a little short of timing data, but we data scientists do what we can. The race chart below is a variation of my usual style, based on official data up to Gering, and on a combination of the timing board and Twitter timestamps for Casper. A small elevation chart is included at the bottom.

The chart is constructed with reference to a theoretical car which drives at exactly 80 km/h all the way. Vertical position indicates how far behind that theoretical car the various teams are. That’s in elapsed-time terms, of course – CalSol was 8.7 hours behind Michigan at Casper by elapsed time, but because of staging, they were only 2 hours behind in physical terms. Penalty minutes are added in at the right-hand side of the chart (this is noticeable for Esteban).

Some points to note:

  • On the open road, Michigan are averaging what champions Nuon did at the 2017 World Solar Challenge. Western Sydney are not far behind. In fact, Michigan have gone on to reach the stage stop at Lander.
  • The two cars from Montreal are still neck-and-neck, fighting it out for 3rd.
  • In the Cruiser (MOV) class, Minnesota and Onda Solare are both still running behind the 53.5 km/h required speed, and so are attracting slowness penalties. In fact, they are not far ahead of the 45.8 km/h speed where Cruisers are deemed to have trailered. However, there is probably a well-thought-out strategy behind this.
  • The cars have been climbing, but the big climb is yet to come.
  • A hailstorm hit Casper around the time that the Cruisers were there. Hopefully the cars are OK (Minnesota and Onda Solare are, at least).
  • Most teams seem to be spending the night in Casper. Michigan, Western Sydney, and ETS are in Lander already, while Esteban and MIT seem to be on the road somewhere.

Morning fog and hills (picture credits: 1, 2)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.