World Solar Challenge 1999 - Report 3

We have had another good day. Today Mark Gilligan has re-built the battery box to fit in extra cells, and the new arrangement has passed scrutineering. We have also done another 200 km of road testing, and practice runs at the Hidden Valley track for tomorrow's speed trials. This gave us a chance to see the Minnesota team (see picture - their car is called, believe it or not, Aurora 4) and the team from Central Queensland Uni., who are racing one of our old cars--the one raced last time by Lake Tuggeranong College.

At the Hidden Valley track


Also out and about were Solar Motion, and the team from Michigan. All our systems are working as expected, and the energy consumption while driving has actually come in a bit lower than expected, which is good news.

Tomorrow morning Rob Shandley will take the car through the speed trial. Aurora will be one of the first cars to do so.

We are ready to race! Tony Vriens will be the lead driver out of Darwin, and the remaining drivers will be Katie Holroyd and Joe Coventry. Media interest in the race is growing. We appeared on the Channel 10 news tonight, and we hear that the race start will be televised to 20 different countries.

Tonight we had a night off from the preparations, and were the guests of Northern Territory Police Commissioner Brian Bates at a barbecue held at the Police Training facility. Roy Richie and Peter Murray of Whirlpool were with us for dinner, and Bob Pound of R.J. Pound and Peter Young of 101 Collins St also joined us later tonight.