Arts & Crafts Magazine

Officially Finished

By Bertyc @bertyc
Officially Finished
We officially crossed the finish line here in Adelaide this morning at around 10:40AM. After a relaxing meal at a Vietnamese restaurant, and a comforting sleep in a hotel bed, we went back to the official timing line and drove our car in. Offically we came in 8th in our class and 12th overall. Total racing time was 49 hours and 46 minutes.
Considering what we went through - we did pretty good. We found several issues with our aeroshell during the race that was chewing up a lot of our energy. I know at one point we had a giant airscoop on the tail, sucking back around 200 watts. When your car only uses 1500 watts to do 70km hour, that's very significant. I'd like to think had we raced the car as she was built, we would have saved a few hours.
Officially FinishedA few of you had asked how this compares to last year. I just pulled up the results, and last year we finished in 47 hours and 15 minutes with an average speed of 63.46 km/hour (11th place overall). So we may have not done quite as well as last year, but in fact, the entire race was a little bit slower.
Last years top three finishers: Nuna III (29:11), Aurora (32:35), Momentum (33:18)
This year's top three finishers: Nuna 4 (33:17), Umicar Infinity (34:36), Aurora101 (35:17)
So you can see things are a bit slower this year. One reason I believe is the weather. Anecdotal notes form last year suggest there were no cloudy days like we saw this year. Had we not putted along at 30km/hour for part of tuesday (along with many other teams) we might have been substantially faster. But this was part of the organizers plans. In addition to changing the rules of design, they moved the race ahead a month to get more inclement weather. I guess it worked.
I could go on and on as to how we could have been better, but why just talk about it when we can put it into next year's strategy. Schulich I will be back to race in the North American Solar Challenge with a few modifications, and I know there are already ideas floating around about Schulich II. One of the amazing parts of being here is seeing all the other cars. There are around 50 cars here and more than 500 young and intelligent people. Talking with them has already presented ideas and opportunities for our next generation car.

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