Solar Team Twente has driven 633 kilometres on the first racing day and is now on sixth position in the World Solar Challenge. The great qualification session of yesterday lead to a pole position. Today at the start however, a blown motor controller lead to a delay. The controller could be replaced in 20 minutes. But every minute counts and the unpredictable traffic in Darwin made that the team ended up in a traffic jam. The team is recovering quickly, overtook 18 solar cars and reached a top speed of 105 kilometres an hour. The car functions perfectly and shows great stability.
During the first media stop at 317 kilometres from Darwin the team had already overtaken 15 cars and was in ninth position. Racing driver Barry Vree: “Now I know how a F1 driver feels when his car halts just after the start. Bad luck. But it’s a race and things can change. The car felt good and we had an average speed of 80-85 kilometres an hour. Overtaking so many competitors was great fun. Only in Adelaide, we’ll now the consequences of this mornings casualty.” The goal for today was to drive as far as possible in order to reach the leading cars.
At this moment, the team is in Dunmarra at 633 kilometres from Darwin. Team captain Siebe Brinkhof reflects on the first day of the challenge: “After a fantastic qualification yesterday, we had never expected what happened this morning. It was quickly shown though that excellence comes with practice: the team remained calm and the problem was fixed routinely. Now we’re awaiting the next challenge: surviving the Outback without our truck that carries the tents and our food. The truck is still at about 300 kilometres from Dunmarra due to a punctured tyre. But we’re close to a filling station and we have a camper, cars and sleeping bags. It’ll be alright. It’s a race and the challenge is fantastic and adventurous.”
2011 Veolia World Solar Challenge - Provisional Results
Day 1 - Sunday 16th October 2011
Top 5 Teams
1. Tokai University
2. Nuon Solar Car Team
3. University of Michigan
5. Apollo Solar Car Team
Live Race Tracking