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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Japanese car Tokai Challenger wins World Solar Challenge in Australia

A Japanese sun-powered car Tokai Challenger won the World Solar Challenge on Wednesday after averaging speeds of more than 100 kilometres (62 miles) per hour for four days through the Australian Outback. The Tokai University solar car entry #60 Tokai Challenger crossed the control finish line just north of Adelaide at 3.39pm SA daylight saving time to claim victory in the 2009 Global Green Challenge.

In what appeared to be a near faultless run over the 3,000 kilometre distance from the Darwin start, Tokai University has broken the four event string of victories set by the Dutch Nuon team in the 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2007 events.

The teams first and only reported issue occurred today at the Crystal Brook rail overpass when Tokai Challenger suffered a flat tyre, 2824 kilometres from the Darwin start.

The victory by Tokai Challenger is the first by a Japanese team since 1996 when the event was won by Honda Dream II. Honda also won the previous event in 1993.

The Global Green Challenge in its former guise as the World Solar Challenge was first run in 1987 and is conducted every two years.

Tokai Challenger started the event in fourth position in Darwin after qualifying at an average speed of 81.86kph at Darwin’s Hidden Valley raceway.

The Tokai team went to the lead position in the event at the end of Day 1 at Dunmarra 633 kilometres from the start and was 17 minutes ahead of Michigan University’s Infinium (Car #2) and the Nuon Solar Team entry The Netherlands Nuna V (Car #3).

The lead held by Tokai Challenger had grown to 56 minutes on Day 2 with the Japanese team still being trailed by Infinium and Nuna V. Tokai Challenger spent the night just south of Alice Springs with its rivals some distance to the north of the Central Australian town.

By the end of Day 3, Tokai had camped at Glendambo while its nearest rivals (still Infinium and Nuna V) camped near Coober Pedy and were two hours 23 minutes in arrears battling it out for second position.

The Tokai Challenger team will return tomorrow Thursday (October 29, 2009) to the control finish line and then parade into Adelaide for the ceremonial finish scheduled for 10am (SA daylight saving time) in Victoria Square.

It is expected that the second and third running cars will cross the official finish line at around (SA daylight saving time) on Thursday (October 29, 2009)

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