The Flinders Automotive Solar Team (FAST) is on the third day of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, after departing Tennant Creek this morning, and is on schedule to make the border between South Australia and the Northern Territory tomorrow.
The team can be followed on the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge website, through the GPS tracker provided by the competition.
Comprising a multidisciplinary team of Flinders staff, students and members of the community, FAST is in the Cruiser class of the competition, travelling alongside other teams from tertiary institutions, industry and schools from across the globe on the 3,000 kilometre journey from Darwin to Adelaide.
Cars developed in the Cruiser class must qualify by passing all categories following presentation at static and dynamic scrutineering.
The FAST team completed the checklist over the course of two days on the 10th of October to place 18th out of 40 entries during the recorded lap times. Its Investigator Mark III placed 18th with a recorded lap time of 2:22.66 and an average lap time of 72.8 KPH, with a maximum speed of 100 KPH.
This ranking showed the FAST team outperforming other teams that have been participating for longer.
The first day of the Challenge saw the team experience minor delays on the start line. Despite this, the Investigator Mark III made significant headway, gaining 170 kilometres, reaching projected speeds and keeping pace with others in the competition.
Unfortunately, the team experienced another delay, causing them to miss their Daly Waters control stop on the first day and set up in Katherine. While further investigations were needed, the team needed to press ahead as they were under time constraints and would have more time to look into the cause in Tennant Creek.
Challenged by temperatures of 47 degrees, team director Stuart Wildy (Senior Lecturer for Engineering in CSE) reported that the issues are being addressed as they arise, and the car is performing well.
The Investigator Mark III is looking to continue into Adelaide and hopefully finish at Victoria Square this Friday.
FAST will be updating its social media – but reception is not always the greatest in the outback – follow the journey on:
Thanks to FAST team members Melanie Ward and Simon Cullimore for providing this report, and well done to a fantastic effort and extremely successful result – whatever the final outcome!