Two days and 1800km on from Darwin, the World Solar Car Challenge is about to pull in to Alice Springs, in the red centre of Australia. That’s 1800km of crazy straight roads (42 km on one stretch), lunatic drivers (thank you ‘Rooster’) and really quite bad food untouched by vegetables.
The lead cars are currently a Dutch team called Nuon, just 8km ahead of Tokai University, who are winding them in at an alarming rate of knots. So when the clock hit 5pm today and all race cars are forced to stop, the Japanese were the ones celebrating.
Tomorrow Tokai, winners of the last two events in 2009 and 2011, look certain to overtake the Dutch as the race crosses the border into Southern Australia. It’s been a fascinating battle between two ultra professional outfits, pushing the legalities of the rulebook to the max.
Falling further behind is the multi-million dollar US entry. The team, which has won few friends in Australia because of their huge back-up team and slightly aloof attitude, look likely to be eating humble pie by the time the chequered flag drops in Adelaide.
Wifi willing, more tomorrow…