World Solar Challenge race chart 2

Another preliminary version of my race chart (I’m using the same baseline speed I used in 2017). The right vertical axis shows arrival time at “end of timing” in Darwin time (Adelaide time is an hour later).

Tragedy for front-runner Twente (story here) and for Kogakuin and Sonnenwagen Aachen (although Aachen is back on the road and Kogakuin hope to be so too). The Belgians are closing in on Vattenfall.

In the Cruiser Class (not shown), there are only 3 non-trailered teams.

On a personal note, Scientific Gems is now in Adelaide!


14 thoughts on “World Solar Challenge race chart 2

  1. As i do not have time, can you explain why Top Dutch seems to go slower than in the start ? Was there something with heating accus ?
    And can you privde links for for Kogakuin ?
    Thanks for the attached links for front-runner Twente which has a heavy car, so i was surprised the went of the road. But is the wind strong over there ?

    Thanks for the visual update!!

  2. I did not hear anything on if you have time for a update on those..would be very nice. (In the Cruiser Class (not shown), there are only 3 non-trailered teams.)

  3. My first thoughts were also that for the next rules update BWSC would have to do something about minimum weight but indeed Red_E was about 30kgs heavier than Nuna X.
    I read about Aachen. Did Kogakuin also suffer damage as a result from wind gusts or is their retirement related to their battery troubles?
    So it is probably just part of the BWSChallenge that teams have to deal with. In a sense it is good to take this into consideration by teams who are innovating for future mobility that weight reduction requires additional design decisions. Everyone is happy that nobody got hurt, but with these road trains on the same road the risks cannot be ignored. This dilemma needs to be discussed between the BWSC organisation and the teams as this is an important joint responsibility to avoid real casualties.

    The Cruiser class really needs a different approach; I know Nigel has been pointing this out already for the longest time. There is no point in tracking travelling from Darwin to Adelaide like this when it is not a race, most cars will not meet time windows anyhow and the real judging will happen after the “finish”.

    • Minimum weight rules were also my first thought.

      My belief (based on photos by other teams) is that Kogakuin was also hit by wind gusts.

      And yes, wind gust (in the wrong direction) plus road train would be very bad news.

      And I agree regarding the Cruiser class. From a blogging perspective, it has been almost impossible to cover.

  4. Ah, this part you are referring: Ten minutes after driving off from the control stop, we realized our battery started getting hot. It eventually surpassed its charging temperature, which means that after reaching a certain temperature, our battery reduces or stops allowing power through from the solar deck for safety reasons. Consequently, we decided to stop on the side of the road to open the solar deck and cool the inside of the car. As soon as our battery was charging again, we got back on the road. Unfortunately, we were stuck with the same problem 5 minutes after driving off, so we decided to stop again and wait a bit longer for the battery to cool down. In this time, three teams passed us: Michigan, Tokai and Aachen. By the time our battery seemed better, we decided to get back on the road and head to our next control stop: Barrow Creek.

  5. Very sad there is no coverage for the more practical and usefull Cruiser class becasue the future will be the Cruiser class in daily life.

    I thought Leuven, Belgium also had severe problems in the past due to wind gusts..but am i wrong ? I thought one time they did not finish due to blown of the road 5-9 years ago
    Tijdens de World Solar Challenge in 2009 vertrok het derde Belgische team met een geweldige start. Na één dag stond de Umicar Inspire al op de tweede plaats van alle 31 deelnemers. Vechtend voor de eerste plaats is de Inspire gecrasht door hevige wind. De crash zorgde er voor dat het team uit de race moest stappen.

  6. An eventful day or two but I do think we should put this into some sort of context. The first thing to say is that thankfully no-one has been hurt and that, in itself, is a testament to both the rules and the skill of the teams in building robust vehicles. There is also a degree of luck that no other vehicles have been involved and i agree that more needs to be done to mitigate the risk.
    BUT to avoid being over sympathetic to the teams who, after all, are big girls and boys. This is a challenge, it’s not supposed to be easy and these are just more obstacles that teams have to overcome. I’m sure that many of the competitors in Australia will later become members of motorsports teams where they will find that this is just a fact of life. They will spend hours, days, weeks, years trying to build the perfect car only for it to be destroyed in an instant thanks to a simple act of madness, a momentary lack of concentration, sheer bad luck or, yes, a gust of wind as well. They will learn to put those things behind them and carry on trying to do better.
    There can only be one winner of a race and every other team will have reasons why it wasn’t them, and usually it is not down to luck in the end.

    On the Cruiser class, there are two issues. One is the nature and the rules of the race which some will like and others will not but such is life. The second issue is information, or the lack of it, which is entirely in the hands of WSC. If we are to make any sense of this event other than to just look at the scores, often incorrect, which are posted anything up to 15 hours after day finishes, we need information. This would not be difficult if they could be bothered to supply it, after all there are engineers involved here.
    All that’s needed is 1. A list of battery sizes before the start.
    2. A note beside the control stop timings of how many passengers got out of
    the car.
    3. Publication after charging of the amounts taken.
    That’s it, all information that WSC have to hand but can’t be bothered to publish and then those of us who are interested could work out what we are seeing.

    Looking forward to a big day tomorrow and finding out whether NUNA’s lack of pace today was due to a nervous team or something more.

    • At a personal level, I operate on “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” And yes, I’m very glad that nobody was hurt.

      And I would also like to see that Cruiser information, which is what ASC provided at each stage.

  7. Silly incident for Vattenfall at the control stop: wind started to blow Nuna X to a parked car (no brakes on I guess). Team had to prevent that and the control stop timer was reset after 5 minutes. So instead of 7 minutes they will only have 2 minutes head start to Agoria. Will the finish this year be even closer than that epic Delft -Twente battle?

    • I’m intrigued to see what happens today. Agoria made up so much time yesterday despite being restricted to 80kph for several hours. But they also made up time in the afternoon when the restriction was lifted and not just them! Tokai reached the control stop at 9 minutes past 5pm so are effectively now only 21 minutes behind having made up 52 minutes since Coober Pedy.

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