World Solar Challenge 2019: Nothing can stop us!
After yesterday’s shock, the mood in the team was again characterized by pure motivation. In the night we finished all the minor repairs again and additionally concealed a few beauty flaws so that the sonnenwagen crosses the finish line in its full splendour.
In a relatively short night under a splendid starry sky we prepared ourselves for the possibly last race day and drove off again punctually at 8 o’clock.
We reached the penultimate one in Glendambo without any problems, no great change in the driving feeling could be noticed. During the control stop the safety of our drivers after the accident was checked again by the officials and the race observers and the sonnenwagen was checked for further damages. After everyone was convinced of the repair work and we were allowed to continue, Oli got into the Covestro sonnenwagen and drove to Port Augusta.
But the accident had probably left its traces. About 100km after the checkpoint Oli noticed problems with the front shock absorbers, which affected the driving feeling a bit. A look under the lid revealed the problem: The left shock absorber had probably experienced a lateral force during the rollover, which led to the defect of the whole suspension.
What sounded like only a small defect was a bigger challenge for the team, which could also mean a retirement. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a spare part with us.
But in the midst of our growing desperation the rescue came suddenly: The Western Sydney Solarcar Team had noticed us at the roadside and stopped without hesitation. Since they had unfortunately already retired from the race, they wanted to do everything they could to make it across the finish line in Adelaide. Without further ado, two mechanical teams worked on the Covestro sonnenwagen and fortunately they even had a suitable spare part with them. Only about an hour passed before the sonnenwagen was back on the hot Australian road. This hour seamlessly lined up with the many beautiful moments of this World Solar Challenge, which proved to everyone that you are a big “solar family” and fight with and for each other. For a cleaner and more innovative future!
Now we continued at full throttle to the last checkpoint in Port Augusta and then towards Adelaide.
Meanwhile we were aware that we would not arrive in Adelaide today. Nevertheless, the atmosphere in the team was great! After all our experiences in the past days we realized that nothing could stop us! And we would finish this race for us and symbolically for all the other teams that unfortunately did not make it.
We set up our last camp just under 200 km. One last time sitting together at the campfire and telling each other stories of the last 4 days that seemed so much longer.