World Solar Challenge 2019: The race begins!
After our driver Olli could secure us in the qualification an excellent starting place No. 2, we started under great conditions into the race. 35 degrees, pure sunshine, accompanied by a few sheep clouds.
At the starting line directly in front of the parliament building of the Northern Territory in the heart of Darwin Christoph took over the steering wheel of the sonnenwagen for the first stage. This extends to Katherine, the first checkpoint on the way to Adelaide.
After a bumpy start we lost some places in the dense traffic in Darwin, but still we were able to get into the top 5 during the first hours of the race.
While some other teams were confronted with technical problems, the Covestro Sonnenwagen continued to drive unperturbed by burning trees on the track and the heat of the outback. The whole team found itself very well in the race rhythm, also the automatisms at the control stop were well mastered by Christoph.
Because at every control stop the driver has to take out his drinking bladder, his additional weights (every driver under 80kg body weight is weighed up with weights to 80kg) and his radio connection and press a red button at the control stop to start the waiting time of 30 minutes.
During this time, the team has the opportunity to gather again, discuss the driving strategy for the next stage and change riders.
The next rider has to pack the above mentioned things as fast as possible and start again after the waiting time. The next stage extended over 300km to Daly Waters.
After about 630 of the 3022km long distance we set up our first camp in the outback.
While the technicians took care of the maintenance of the sonnenwagen, the support crew took care to set up the camp as fast as possible and to prepare the dinner. the first very successful race day lock the team as fifth place with a cosy campfire, before one already went with the thought of the coming race day in his tent.