Diary: Race day 1
Dear fans, friends and family,
our Huawei Sonnenwagen has finally started the race! During a festive ceremony, all solar race cars were lined up in the government district of Darwin according to their starting position. After our great success during qualifying yesterday, we started from position no. 5. This fact gave us a small advantage compared to teams starting from later positions. Obviously, the whole team came together to cheer for our solar car, even though many of us still had work to do in Darwin and couldn’t immediately leave for the adventure. The car was accompanied by only three cars at first, more about that in another blog post though.
For many of us (excpect for the drivers obviously), there was a hopefully last night shift. The workshop, that the Porsche center Darwin kindly provided for us, had to be cleaned and the massive amounts of supplies, that we bought the last days, had to be distributed onto the cars and trailers. We sadly didn’t have time for that during the last days. Early morning, we prepared a quick breakfast and also the hostel rooms had to be left tidied. How stressful! That’s why the second half of the team started the race with around two and a half hours delay and only caught up with our race car during the late afternoon.
The first day of the race went really well! The Huawei Sonnenwagen drove over the starting line, like it wasn’t his first race, and was applauded and cheered on by our team and sponors (by the way, we are one of the loudest teams here 😉 ). The drive on the Stuart Highway went really smooth. A big applaus for the guys of our drive train: While we saw many teams today, that didn’t look very stable, our car took every turn with ease and wasn’t faced at all by incoming winds of roadtrains. We drove 493 km today! Even though, we were passed by some other solar car teams: In the end, only the entire racetime counts and for that, you need a sophisticated driving strategy. In addition to that, we also saw a lot of solar car teams, that had to stop at the roadside and do some repairs.
The drivers were also very content. Jan and Christoph both did roughly 4 hours of driving and for the first time experienced the heat of the Australian Outback. Our driver cooling system, basically an air intake, does its job very well! Neither of them complained about the heat. However, they could hear some unnerving noises in the front left wheel housing. The problem was already identified during the evening checkup and will be fixed by our capable technical team, while our support crew builds up the tents and cooks a delicious dinner for us. It’s worth noting again: We did 493km today! A great job by everybody! We can’t wait for the next. But for now, we have to eat something 🙂