The weather was cloudy from the morning. Perhaps because the race route was near the ocean, the clouds sometimes obscured the Sun, but for the most part the weather was clear.
The team members once again started preparing for the race at 5:00 a.m.. Although there were just 540 kilometers to go and the team was in first place, the members were as serious as ever in their preparation.
Today’s starting time was 8:37 a.m.. First behind the wheel was Tokai University graduate Kohei Sagawa, who took the Tokai Challenger to the day’s first controlled stop in Port Augusta at 10:21 a.m.. After the successful drive, Mr. Sagawa said “The car is running perfectly thanks to the hard work of the students. I really enjoyed driving.”
Mr. Shinozuka once again got behind the wheel to take on the final section until the finish line on the outskirts of Adelaide. The Tokai Challenger was running smoothly until the front left tire punctured about 220 kilometers away from the final goal. The car was pulled over to the side of the road and the team fixed the problem.
Despite this sudden misfortune, the students worked as a team to get the tire changed in 8 minutes. After making sure there were no other problems, the team sent the car on its way. A short time later, exactly at 2:39 p.m., the Tokai Challenger, driven by Kenjiro Shinozuka, crossed the finish line just outside Adelaide. The team from Tokai University had emerged victorious after the approximately 3,000 kilometer race.
This was the first time a team of university students from Japan had won this race. What made the feat even more remarkable was that they beat the four-time defending champions, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. After the race, Professor Hideki Kimura, who led the students over the course of this project said “Due to the cooperation we received from the representatives of the many equipment providers from Japan and other countries, as well as students, who channeled their energies and cooperated in order to overcome difficulties along the way, we won the race. Although we set our sights high, we succeeded as the students learned the importance of teamwork firsthand. We hope the students make the most of this experience and become engineers who in future take on the challenges of the environment and energy.”
According to team leader Tsuyoshi Takeuchi, “It is great to win a race that we had dreamed so much about. We were able to win the race because all members were fully aware of their roles and did everything necessary to carry them out.” Added Tatsuki Ito,“We learned so much, such as the importance of having a definite team goal, and the value of properly carrying out even the most mundane jobs. We also learned a lot about technology by observing some of the world’s top-level teams. We want to thank everyone who gave us the opportunity to experience all of this.
Appearance of maintenance of the Tokai Challenger by port Augusta
The Tokai Challenger that runs in plain
Total mileage: 3,021km
Power generated by Sharp compound solar cells
Power generated in the morning: 2.04 kWh
Power generated in the afternoon: 7.978 kWh
Power generated in the evening: (Not applicable since race was finished.)
Peak output power in a day: 1.66 kW
|Note: These values reflect measurements taken under conditions where the intensity of sunlight, the incident angle of sunlight, and hours of sunlight were not known.