Sunday, October 18, 2015

WSC 2015: Race Day 1

A Stanford member posted a great blog about Dynamic Scrutineering.

ScientificGems posted a GREAT summary of team positions over the first day - well worth checking out.

Quick Day 1 summary for our perspective:

We started the day by heading out to the Parliament building; checking out the cars and wishing all of the teams luck. After talking to some folks who’ve done the solar car tourist thing before, we decided not to stick around for the race start (sorry). Instead, we headed about 25km south of Darwin and found a nice hilltop vantage point to see all the cars as the drove out.

Once we’d seen the first 30-ish cars, we got back on the road and booked it for the first control stop, passing many teams along the way. We missed the top teams at Katherine, but at least got to snap this photo of the timing board.

We spotted Kogakuin and EAFIT doing their end-of-day charging at the Hi-Way Inn (50km north of Dunmarra), and WSU and Arrow in a truck pulloff about 30km north of Dunmarra. Punch, Megalux and Stanford were all at Dunmarra control stop at the end of the day, and Michigan, Nuon, Twente, and Tokai had made it some ways past.

We ended up camping with the teams at the control stop, and the WSU team and Mitsuba support crew joined us as well.

A Punch team member told us that they had to stop three times due to problems stemming from a single instance of debris getting in the wheel well behind the driver. They say they were running nearly neck&neck with Michigan before having problems, and seem pretty confident that they can catch up if they can consistently keep the car on the road. The team spent all night getting the car prepped for Day 2.

We heard from a few people that the Malaysian team may have had a battery fire. Anyone have any concrete info on their status? EDIT1: Based on this graph, it looks like EcoPhoton was continuously moving throughout the day, so I think this rumor was false (sorry). EDIT2: We have had multiple people confirm this to us - not sure why we can't find any documented news of it.

It’s more than a little hard to find internet out in the outback, so I won’t be posting much here - check out twitter for updates.

1 comment:

  1. Reading the Stanford blog I do question the usefulness of doing the time trial, or really pushing really hard for the top spot, given that it's a 3000 km race that focuses on endurance rather than on sprinting. Seeing how Nuna and Tokai started in the back of the peloton in 2013 and managed to rapidly secure the top spots kind of makes the whole deal quite irrelevant for the outcome of the race, it may add a bit of flair and excitement to the event, but the way I see it cars could perfectly begin the race in the same fashion that an endurance event like a marathon, iron man or tour de france stage begins. Regardless of the starting position, the strongest cars will eventually find their way to the front of the race, while the weaker ones will simply begin to fall behind.