Darren apologises for the lack of updates; I think managing the team and the various side issues are a bit more of a handful than he anticipated.
The Willetton team arrived in Darwin on the Thursday before the Challenge, and camped at Hidden Valley caravan park.
On the Friday, they passed scrutineering.
On the Saturday, Willetton Sungroper qualified 27th out of 38, at an average speed around Hidden Valley race track of 57 km/h.
They had completed 180.5km under solar power as at the end of day 2 (which is more to date than Leeming :-), and were camped just south of the town of Elliot, in a picnic/camp bay next to the highway.
One of the four batteries appears to be failed: it was reading much lower than the others. They have removed it from service, and reconfigured the tracker for the new voltage of 36V.
Darren has had some challenges with his vehicle: the air conditioning and one power window died, and the radiator gave trouble. He took it to an air conditioning place, who explained that he needed less coolant, and bled some off. When he said he was witha school team on the Challenge, they gave it to him for free. The radiator had a bad hose on the bottom; Nat Rad fixed it, again for free.
Darren said nine of his students had never slept in a sleeping bag before, and two had never lit a match.
The team seem in good spirits, and are talking about doing the Challenge again in 2009, possibly with a new car.