Information on this blog is raw and sometimes unverified reporting straight from the road by teams. The event will issue a media release for any events requiring an official notification.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Aurora: 28 September, Day 4

Sunrise. The sky is covered in clouds, and there is a strong wind from the southwest. The entire team is at the array stand holding down the array.

The sun occasionally comes out from behind the clouds, giving us a few minutes of bright sunlight.

It is raining.

We got very little charge again this morning. Our batteries are 35% full, but the sky is completely overcast and there is a very strong headwind. We set off at 80km/h.

At 0840, we have the windscreen wipers on in the lead car. We are getting only occasional patches of sunlight. But it is clearing out to the west.

We arrived at the Glendambo control point at 9:06, about 8 minutes ahead of Michigan. TIGA are nowhere in sight.

The cloud front is running parallel to the road. Five minutes out of Glendambo, we crossed onto the sunny side. We are getting about 10% more power than we expect because of reflection from the edges of the clouds.

By 10:10, we were back under the cloud.

Michigan overtook us at about 11:30. Shortly afterwards, we both came out of the clouds into bright sunlight.

We are sitting right behind Michigan, doing about 85km/h. Our battery level is slowly increasing above our planned discharge profile.

We pulled into Port Augusta just behind Michigan. TIGA was not far behind.

Michigan had to do some work on their car (remove a chunk of metal wedged in the front), so we left 30 seconds before them.

Michigan overtook us at 14:55. We are now sitting behind Michigan, to see who's battery will die first. The sky is still cloudy.

In the most exciting and stressful leg of the race, Todd has fallen asleep in the lead car.

At 15:20, Michelin slowed to 75km/h. This is good---our battery charge is dropping a little too fast.

It is raining, and very windy.

Nuna has passed the finish of timing, with an average speed of 102km/h.

At 15:50, Michigan pulled over with a flat tyre. We continued in the rain at 60km/h.

After Port Wakefield, we decided that we could safely increase our speed---if the battery voltage started dropping, we would still have enough energy in the battery to limp to the finish line. We sped up to 105km/h. The battery voltage did not drop until 10km north of the finish of timing. We crossed the finish of timing at 17:05.

If Michigan or TIGA cannot get to the finish line before 8:05, we will be second.

We have been told that Michigan is at Port Wakefield, and TIGA is 25km further north. Second again!