World Solar Challenge: One Week to Go – Stage Set for Scorching Competition
The largest ever field for this year’s 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Darwin to Adelaide is converging on Darwin from all corners of the globe. The 3,000 kilometre event will be flagged off from the State Square in Darwin on Sunday 6 October at 8.15 am and will be contested by 40 teams from 23 countries.
Australia’s hopes rest with five teams: University NSW Solar Team Sunswift and their solar sports car ‘eVe’ and TAFE SA’s Solar Spirit 111 are both contesting the inaugural Cruiser Class; in the elite Challenger Class University of Western Sydney in their car ‘Solace’ and Queensland’s Team Arrow in Arrow 1 will be flying the Aussie flags; and in the Adventure Class Aurora’s ‘Evolution’ from Melbourne is confident their experience will prevail.
But the Australian’s face hot competition. An unprecedented amount of preparation and testing has been taking place over the past month. The American Solar Champions, from the University of Michigan are due in Darwin later this afternoon. They have been putting their car, Generation, through its paces on the way to Darwin, staging a ‘mock race’ to simulate the challenges they will encounter crossing the desert. From the Netherlands, Nuon Solar team, winners of four past events in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007, have been based in Darwin at Nightcliffe Primary School for the past month taking their solar car Nuna7 through its final paces. They believe this year they have the car to take back the title they lost to the Japanese in 2009 and again in 2011. But winning it back from the impressive team from Tokai University in their sleek Tokai Challenger will be no easy feat.
Others to watch include Team Twente with their car, Red Engine; Belgium’s Punch Powertrain Solar team and Stanford University, who hope their shining star ‘Luminos’ will be leading the way. Event Director Chris Selwood said the only certainty is the unpredictability of this epic journey. With 33 new cars purpose built for this event the winners could come from anywhere and in the case of the new Cruisers, technology edges closer to the mainstream.
During the event week millions worth of technology and countless hours of effort will be seen making their way along the Stuart Highway travelling through control check points at Katherine, Dunmarra, Tennant Creek, Ti Tree, Alice Springs, Kulgera, Coober Pedy, Glendambo and Port Augusta. The lead cars are expected to reach the Finish of Timing point in Angle Vale possibly as early as Wednesday afternoon before heading to the official finish line in Adelaide’s Hindmarsh Square.
This article is a repost, credit: World Solar Challenge.