After the problems with the inverters right at the beginning of the race, the car ran over 3000 kilometers error-free. Today, in the middle of Adelaide and less than a kilometer before the finish line at the last checkpoint, the blue.cruiser turned off and fights with technical problems. We still arrrive, the whole team is overwhelmed and celebrates this great event in the fountain at Victoria Square.
The last 220 kilometers ahead
The last camp the team set up was at Port Germain, with a lead of 60 kilometers ahead of the following Eindhoven Team. The battery has been fully charged again so that this lead can be carried to the finish line. Without any problems, and on time at 8 clock, the blue.cruiser rolls without complications 200 kilometers to the gates of Adelaide. The city traffic, the other cars and especially the traffic lights give the car the first problems. Here, the old difficulties of starting up again come to light - especially when a traffic light just before a gradient changes to red. Quickly it is clear that the blue.cruiser can not master the incipient ascents in full occupancy, so the passengers from the rear seat bench have to leave the car. It’s working again, but at the coming red light the next shock: the blue.cruiser turns off and not turning on again. The problems on the motor controllers, which have lasted more than 3000 kilometers, are now, only a few hundred meters from the finish line, back again. Panic and confusion are spreading, no one can believe it could have been so close to the goal. The defective engine is disconnected, the blue.cruiser is pushed and finally with with great difficulties over the finish line - more from foreign power than from own. The car hardly manages to drive by itself at this time, but it is done. The car managed 3022 kilometers from Darwin to Adelaide, the entire team managed it. Everyone is relieved that it is over now.
And the other teams?
The blue.cruiser is in the goal and everyone is wondering what the placement looks like? Although we have crossed the finish line as the first team in the cruiser class, the scoring formula, consisting of passenger kilometers and energy score, decides on the ranking in the Cruiser Class. In addition, there is the practical test on Saturday, the result of which is 1/5 of the total score.
The blue.cruiser ranks second in the Cruiser Class, with only three vehicles reaching the finish line in time - with 11 eliminated teams, it becomes clear why the World Solar Challenge is considered to be the world's toughest race for solar vehicles. The Team from Eindhoven has been able to convince in all disciplines and are right in the first place. But we can look forward to a spectacular and hardly believable second place. That the blue.cruiser as one of only three vehicles reached the goal, is already a huge achievement, but the silver medal toppt again some.
The balance of the day can only be positive - the blue.cruiser has achieved its goal. How, is in this case of secondary importance. With a view to the great overall result, we have a consistently good record for the entire race. Despite immense difficulties, the team has always fought back, held together and left most of the other teams behind. We are happy, we are proud, we are a team. We are Bochum.