World Solar Challenge 1999 - Report 4

Speed trials at the Hidden Valley trackToday Rob Shandley took Aurora 101 through the speed trials. We clocked a speed of 94.74 km/h, the fastest Australian qualifier. This is the same speed as we made in 1996, but this time the track was 100 m shorter, so our acceleration performance is a considerable improvement over that last time.

This has put us 7th on the grid. The top two cars were a Japanese entry from Kanazawa Institute, and the Solar Motions team from the USA, (both equipped with supercapacitors) who clocked in at around 118 km/h. Ten cars made speeds within 10 km/h of each other, and we are in the middle of that bunch. The next fastest Australian is NTU's Desert Rose, who are in 10th position.

We had a lot of attention paid to the car today, and to the pit, and the hospitality area provided by Whirlpool. Again we had good support from Roy Richie and Peter Murray of Whirlpool and Bob Pound of R.J. Pound Services and Peter Young of 101 Collins St.

We have finalised all our pre-race equipment checks and we expect to be on the grid at 6:30 am tomorrow morning. Race start is at 8:00 am. The weather forecast is for morning sun and afternoon thunderstorms--typical Darwin weather. We hope to get moving quickly and cover a lot of ground. We expect that the first 5 or 6 cars in this year's race will be very close, and we intend to be at the front!