Internode Blog

Congratulations, Tokai Challenger!

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 by

The first solar car arrived in Adelaide this afternoon at 3:39pm local time – covering 2,998km since Sunday morning.

Team Tokai arrive in Adelaide to the adoring media

It’s a bit of a history-making event – not only are they the first team to ever win on Day 3, they are also the first Japanese team to win the event since 1993. In addition to that, the drivers included Kenjiro Shinozuka alongside Tokai University students and alumni – he was the first Japanese to achieve overall victory in the Paris to Dakar Rally!

By the way, after qualifying fourth, the Tokai race was nearly flawless, with the only reported “issue” a flat tyre, which happened this morning at a rail overpass in Crystal Brook.

tokaichallenger…this victory also breaks a four-event winning streak from Team Nuon, who took home the gold in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007. This year’s Team Nuon entry, Nuna V, is currently tied for second place with Michigan University’s Infinium, with both cars arriving simultaneously at Port Augusta at 3:30pm SA time this afternoon – it’s a very tight competition between those two!

The fourth solar car is actually not the one in fourth place overall: it’s actually OSU Model S, the team from Osaka. They’re entered in the Adventure Class, which has slightly different specifications to the Challenge class that Tokai, Michigan and Nuon are competing in.

21Revolution, from Solar Team Twente (our Dutch friends) are currently somewhere near the SA/NT border in 9th place, following an accident 90km from Alice Springs.

Australian favourite Aurora 101 has suitably recovered from their issues earlier, and are currently in 8th place, having checked in at Coober Pedy late this afternoon.

We, on the other hand, checked out of Coober Pedy this morning and are now settling into our final hotel for the trip, in lovely Port Augusta. Nearly home – we return victorious to Adelaide tomorrow afternoon!

– Jessica Citizen