The Greenfleet Class showcases fuel efficient technologies and low carbon fuels… practical transport technologies of tomorrow.
Annesley is the only all-female team to enter the Challenge. Mortgage Choice is the proud sponsor of their EOS Project, nicknamed 'Lissie'.
TODAY: Thursday October 24 – Alice Springs to Coober Pedy
Time for the real test – just how fuel efficient are we?
After a full day yesterday of rest and recuperation in Alice Springs, today was our last day of driving Lissie as a petrol/electric hybrid because as of tomorrow it is time for the real test to begin: benchmarking the car's performance over our outback trip so far to the way it would normally perform in terms of petrol consumption. We are excited to see what tomorrow will bring!
We rose early this morning for the requisite fuel check and fill up, monitored by a Greenfleet official, before setting off for the 700km drive from Alice Springs to Coober Pedy.
It was a day of pretty much straight driving, with the usual driver and navigator swap-overs. However, we saw the flattest topography so far and the most fauna for the whole road trip. CBs sprung to life every time one of the cars spotted something – a dingo, camel, goanna, wedge tailed eagles and other bird life.
In the beginning of this relatively cool day, the clouds looked like white fairly floss but soon the sky was clear of all clouds and we drove under a completely blue sky, which would have been fantastic for the solar car class of the Challenge.
The entry into Coober Pedy was a sight to remember; with the ground on either side of the road heavily covered with evidence of opal mining and warning signs of the dangers involved in walking through the area. Dinner at a local caravan and camping park was a fabulous feast of pasta carbonara, salad and apple crumble with cream that was hungrily devoured despite the mouse we spotted stalking the oven.
We have just finished listening to project coordinator Peter Gubbins giving the girls an overall run-down on the trip so far and how Lissie has been going as well as what to expect in the next couple of days, such as tomorrow morning's community breakfast and the traditional t-shirt swap at the end of the race (our t-shirts come in blue, white or pink and are branded with Annesley, Mortgage Choice and Holden logos). He also relayed stories about previous Challenges and Hans Tholstrup's first trip in Sunraycer.
So, now it is time for the final testing to begin, seeing as Thursday is our last full day of driving on the highway with no traffic lights, etc. How will Lissie's fuel consumption tomorrow compare to her performance over the previous days of the Challenge? We have completed all other tests of our hybrid and are now looking forward to the benchmarking process that will tell us just how fuel-efficient she is.
Here are thoughts from two Annesley girls on their favourite part of the trip so far.
Kasey – "Meeting all the other teams at the Chief Ministers Reception in Darwin was heaps of fun and a great way to get to know everyone who is a part of this amazing experience".
Lauren – "The point of the trip when it finally kicked in that we were on the World Solar Challenge was just out of Darwin city when we were waiting on the side of the highway by our support vehicles and all the solar cars were going past us… and then Lissie went past, and we jumped in the bus and everyone went, 'this is it!'"
NEXT PUBLIC DISPLAY: 8am on Friday 26 October at the Desert Cave Hotel in Coober Pedy.
Visit www.myspace.com/desert_queen_lissie for more information plus photographs.
Enquiries to Kristy Sheppard (Mortgage Choice) - 0407 450 860 OR Peter Gubbins (Annesley) - 0422 231 437 OR Meg Craven (Annesley) - 0412 649 460.
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** Note: Kristy, Peter and Meg are part of the girls' support team and will endeavour to return all calls within 24 hours but there may be occasions when the mobiles are out of range. We appreciate your patience.