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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Sunday, October 21, 2007

SolarFox: First day's racing

SolarFox started 17th from the grid and cruised out of Darwin with 3000km of the Stuart Highway stretched out in front of them. Once the outskirts of town had been cleared, the first major test for the team was Hayes Creek Hill. A steep gradient is a real challenge for the car to climb because of the short term high power output required (the car is optimised for high efficiency and endurance which is a constant relatively low power output). Fortunately, we passed our first test and continued south towards the first timing checkpoint at Katherine (approximately 300km into the race). This gave us our second indication of our competitive positioning: within the Challenge class, we were now placed 9th. The place we gained over qualifying was due to a tragic accident involving Continuum, the University of Michigan car, which hit its support car after a sudden stop. Fortunately, the damage was not too serious and we hear that the team have since managed to repair the vehicle and are catching back up with the fleet.

In total, the first day's running saw us achieve 418 km towards our Adelaide target with no major technical problems. High cloud restricted the output from the solar array, which is reassuring as it means that there should be further performance available once we start to get clear sun running days.