Stella Era off to a rough start at the World Solar Challenge

13 - 10 - 2019

This morning, it was time to shine for Stella Era as she made her appearance at the start of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. The route of the first day from Darwin to Daly Waters did not exactly start off as planned for the team.

The first stage out of Darwin was expected to be one of the busier ones, as regular traffic mingled with convoys of solar cars. During the Dynamic Scrutineering last Saturday, Stella Era drove a hot lap in 2:28.78 which put her on the 20th place of the overall classification. Therefore, she started on the 20th position of the 41 participating solar cars today. However, a few minutes into the Challenge, the team encountered a rough patch of road that was hilly. One of the traffic lights jumped to red and Stella Era had to brake for other cars ahead of her. This meant she was just at the start of the hill. When the lights jumped to green, she drove away, but the hill proved to be too steep. To be sure, we continued with only our driver – leaving behind the 3 passengers – to decrease the weight of the vehicle. This turned out to be a good call, enabling Era to cruise up the hill and safely reach the first control stop.

Around 13:00 we arrived at our first control stop of the day: Katherine. Shortly after our arrival, Bochum Solar Car Team and ATN Solar Car arrived as well. The clear sky and bright Sun provided Stella Era with lots of solar energy during the static charging, after which she got back on the road again with new energy to give it her all. Currently, we are driving 2nd  on the road of the Cruiser Class. Sunswifts solar car Violet managed to stay ahead of us, but the location on the route does net yet say what the virtual score is, as the amount of person-kilometers are not yet taken into account.

The end of the day went very well. We arrived at the second control stop Daly Waters perfectly in time. At the control stop we found Sunswift with their cruiser car Violet, leaving behind ATN Solar Car Team with their car Priscilla and SolarCar-Team Hochschule Bochum whom we met at our first control stop. Besides, in the Challenger Class the Dutch are ruling. At 5 o’clock, we positioned Era on a nice spot to catch the last sunrays of the day and we set up our camp. Time to prepare for day 2!