Shortly after the start, The RED Engine of Solar Team Twente took first place of the Challenger class. Solar Team Twente consciously chose to race conservatively. Thanks to the weather model, the team could anticipate on the partly cloudy situation later in the afternoon. No unnecessary energy was lost using this strategy.
Solar Team Twente raced conservatively to save as much energy as possible. Because the weather would supposedly get less sunny during the afternoon, the team took this into account. The RED Engine will try to ride its own way, focusing only on the end result. Racing leader Jelle Wagenvoort states: “It is only day one and at this point, it isn’t much use for us to race the other teams. We’re not focusing on them at this point, but just adhering to our own strategy”.
Summary of day 1
At 8:35AM, racing driver Lot Jeurink started the race from Darwin to Adelaide. In the Red Engine, she soon managed to overtake the teams who had qualified in higher positions a day earlier. At the first control stop in Katherine, the Solar Team Twente arrived first. This stop is located at 321 kilometer from the starting point and was reached by the team at 12:30PM. After a brief pause, the driving position was taken over by Erik Krämer. At 2PM, Solar Team Twente was overtaken by the team from Delft to take the second position in the race. The weather forecasts turned out to be accurate: in the afternoon, the sky turned slightly cloudy. The RED Engine raced conservatively in the afternoon and reached the second control stop at the end of the afternoon. This stop is situated at 633 kilometer from the starting point. Delft has built up a lead of 26 minutes on Solar Team Twente, whose RED Engine drove at an average speed of 82km/h.
De solar car from Twente has come out of the first racing day in good state. There were no problems with the car and the drivers have held out well. The temperature inside the cockpit maxed out at 42 degrees Celsius, which is one degree above the air temperature outside. Both drivers agreed that the circumstances inside the car were easily bearable.
Photography; Joost van Baars