Race Pictures

Although the results of the race are in and we will be heading to the awards ceremony in a few hours, here are a few pictures from scrutineering and qualifying. Eleanor was scrutineered on Wednesday 10/21. Race officials verified the car’s dimensions, weight, and array size. All drivers were weighed so we could be ballasted up to 80 kg. The entire caravan and all of our safety equipment was inspected. We demonstrated Eleanor’s turn signals and brake lights and our battery pack was tied shut so that any tampering during the race would we obvious. Below some of our electrical team members, Alex, Robert and Kelly, discuss the car’s electrical system with the scrutineers.

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In Adelaide

We crossed the end-of-timing control stop in the afternoon. However, the finish line in Adelaide was closed by the time we got there, so we put Eleanor in the trailer for the night.

We finished 2nd out of the Challenge Class silicon array cars :)

We drove the car up to Victoria Square, crossed the finish line, and jumped into the fountain. The team spent the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying the city.

We’ll pack up the trailer tomorrow and head to Sydney on Monday.


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A nice finish in 2nd.

I just got this report from Alex Hayman, in Australia:

“We pulled into the Adelaide timing point at 431pm on Thursday, approximately one hour behind UNSW. So, 6th overall, 5th challenge class, and 2nd in Silicon class.


We’re extremely pleased.

Third Stage Stop

We’ve arrived at Kulgera. We’re in fourth place in the Challenge class overall; first in the Silicon category, which is exciting. Today we passed Team Twente from the Netherlands who had quite unfortunately rolled their car, breaking suspension and array components. Hopefully they’ll get back up and running soon. They took a picture of us passing.

Teams that had trouble at the beginning of the race (UNSW, Aurora 101) are catching up, so it’ll be an exciting finish.

Second Stage Stop

We’ve reached the 1169 kilometer mark. Ethan and Mike switched off driving, taking over from Kelly and Fiona the first day. We encountered no other solar cars on the road, so our standing has not changed, but we did encounter a few bumps in the road. From roughly 11 AM – 4 PM, we were under the cloud of a brush fire; we also burst a tire and had to change part of our suspension. We’re still keeping an eye on our battery life. Overall though, we’re pretty happy with where we are so far and look forward to our third day.

First Stage Stop

The race began yesterday morning. We left Darwin at 8:36 AM, reached our first control stop in Katherine at 1:02 PM, and stayed for a required half-hour rest before hitting the road again. We ended the day by arriving in Dunmarra at 5:39 PM, a minute before the required stop time.

Overall things are going well. We did use a bit more of our battery than expected, but made good time. At this stage, we are in 1st place for the Silicon Array Class, in 5th place for the Challenge Class, and 6th overall. We’d like to give a shout-out to Panasonic, as their other sponsored team, Tokai University, is in first place overall.

The Race is On

The SEVT has finished qualifying for the race and is set to start tomorrow. It is Saturday night and we are peeling potatoes and making sandwiches for tomorrow’s lunch. For the past few days we have been inspected by race officials and Australian road authorities, given all of our drivers test time driving on the left side of the road, and tweaked and optimized our car. Everyone is excited and ready to go.

In Darwin

It’s 9:30PM on Wednesday here in Darwin. We (the regular crew) arrived on Monday after spending two days in transit.

Seen on the way to the track on Monday.

Track homestretch.

Rachel’s mom made this sweet cover.

Things have been going well. We went through scrutineering today and will test drive tomorrow.


First Day at the Track

Late crew arrived last night, so today was our first full day at the track. We got to the Hidden Valley Motor Sports Complex around 8 am and began working on Eleanor and the caravan. In addition to getting Eleanor ready to race, we have to prepare the lead, chase, and trailer-hauling vehicles for scrutineering. Yesterday early crew began wiring up the radios, GPS, “crazy lights,” and laptop power in the lead vehicle. Today we worked on getting chase ready to go, while the Land Cruiser visited the rental company for some repairs.
By the afternoon we had Eleanor ready for some test driving around the track. Kelly, Ethan and I each drove around a few laps. We are scheduled to go to scrutineering on Thursday morning, but will try to get everything ready in order to scrutineer tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll be able to test drive on actual roads on Thursday and Friday. Saturday is the qualifying round which will determine our starting position on Sunday. We will post pictures soon.

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Pictures from the drive

A few pictures to go with Alex’s update from last night…..

We camped in Camooweal Caves National Park on Friday night.  We had it a lot rougher than the night before, no electricity and no internet.  We could see a ton of stars though.  Here’s a long exposure picture of the trailer by night.  It’s hard to make out the stickers on the trailer because we have not yet put on the new stickers kindly printed for us by 3M.  Late crew is bringing the new stickers with them and we’ll be putting them on before the end of the week.

In the morning, we visited two of the Camooweal Caves, the Little Nowranie and the Great Nowranie before taking off for Katharine.  You can get an idea of the size of the Great Nowranie from this picture.  Annette and Alex are standing on the far side of the cave.

While camping in Katharine on Saturday night we saw many smaller kangaroos.  We thought this one was a baby until we noticed that it had a joey in its pouch.  The pouch is positioned such that the joey can reach the ground and pick up food when the mother kangaroo is picking up food.  The University of Michigan Solar Car Team was also camping in Katharine. 

We got up early in order to see the Katharine gorges before sending our lead car ahead of the trailer to Darwin.  Chris pieced together this panorama taken from the edge of the gorge.

We sent the lead car ahead so we could figure out the details of renting our chase vehicle.  After visiting 3 different rental companies, we ended up with a 12 passenger van that should have no trouble holding the people and gear needed to support Eleanor. 

Last night, Alex hung out with the Cambridge University Eco Racing Team. We’re looking forward to meeting all the teams and checking out Eleanor’s competition.


(photos: Chris Pentacoff)

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