Aurora In Japan Technical Report
|AURORA IN JAPAN - TECHNICAL REPORT|
The Aurora Vehicle Association Inc was invited to be an entrant at the 2002 Suzuka Dream Cup which ran on 27,28 July 2002. We thank the organisers and the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper for assisting us to be part of that event. Aurora also decided to try to enter the second event, the World Solar Rallye at Akita 2-4 August 2002 even though the event rules have now changed to exclude cars wider than 1.8 metres. The organisers of the WSR did allow the Aurora-RMIT 101 car to participate as an unofficial entry.
Aurora wrote daily reports of this great experience in Japan which can be found elsewhere in this website. This report is intended to be more technical.
2002 DREAM CUP AT SUZUKA, JAPAN - RACE ANALYSIS
The first time that this event was held was in 1992. The Aurora team was invited to Japan at that time and entered its 1990 solar car fondly named 'Christine' in this exciting track event. The return of the Aurora-RMIT 101 solar car in 2002, a decade later, marked the second time we had participated in a track event.
The major difference with a track event is that there are no support cars directing every move the solar car makes. Also the prospect of a breakdown on the track means that the solar car driver is the only immediately available team member to carry out repairs. It can be a long way back to the pits on this 5.821 km track. Finally there are many direct competitors on the track as well and it becomes difficult to maintain discipline and control remembering that solar cars really race their own individual technology.
The Suzuka Grand Prix track has other hardships for solar cars. The track surface is made of coarse gravel giving excellent grip but being hard on tyre wear. The track rises and falls through 36 meters of elevation change with a tough climb just after the main straight requiring high current draw from the batteries and favouring very light solar cars.
Finally in late July it is extremely hot at Suzuka with extreme humidity. Although the locals are adamant that the rainy season has finished the weather and the clarity of the sunlight is unpredictable.
|Yasuo Kaneko from the Yomiuri Shimbun and interpreter Harry Imada.|
|Pit station number 1 at Suzuka racetrack|
The Aurora-RMIT 101 solar car last ran on 16 March 2002 when it broke 4 world records set in 1994 by the superb Swiss solar car team from Biel. To appear in Japan, the shipping container with the solar car, tools and equipment was to depart on 28 June 2002. Apart from some needed repairs the following preparations were needed for racing in Japan:
Hatch change to accommodate driver's helmet
Aurora had not previously required the driver to wear a helmet. One was mandatory for Suzuka. A new larger head bubble was fitted to the hatch which would allow the driver's head to move through 180 degrees with a 27 cm diameter helmet.
TV camera for rear vision
With the helmet it was not possible to continue to use the internally mounted rear view mirror. As a result a rear view TV camera was installed together with a screen inside the head bubble area.
New 21 kg lithium ion battery pack
The weight rules for Suzuka concerning batteries was quite different than the WSC or the Australian Sunrace events. As a result a new battery size was configured at 21 kg. A new battery box was also required and because of the temperatures and the heavy battery usage anticipated special auxiliary air fans were fitted.
We made up a new control which would allow the driver to vary the amount of regenerative braking being used. This was to ensure no over-charging occurred early in the race when the batteries were full and the sun was at its strongest. Another device was fitted to the back brake system to act as a hand-brake.
Tyres with more long wear potential
In anticipation of severe side loads and consequent tyre wear at the front single wheel-motor we modified the front forks to enable the fitment of larger motor scooter type front tyres.
Fast jacking system for pit stops
We designed and made a mechanical lifting jack which could lift the entire solar car off the ground in one movement and facilitate a tyre change of all three wheels at the one time.
The two way radios and telemetry modem frequencies used in Australia were illegal in Japan. The race organisers agreed to provide two way radio equipment but we decided to have no transmitted telemetry data. At the Suzuka track the hilly terrain made full track communications impossible so our plan was to rely on verbal transmission from the driver for the 25 seconds that radio communications were possible on every lap.
Get-out bridge for the driver
Normally the Aurora driver is assisted in leaving or entering the car though use of a special external bridge. This makes sure that the driver does not damage the solar cells by stepping on them.. A new mini bridge was required which could be carried inside the solar car and which the driver could use without any external assistance.
Few weight reductions could be made but approximately 4 kg of equipment was removed.
ARRIVAL AT SUZUKA FORMULA 1 RACE-TRACK
Pre-view, 22 July 2002
After settling into the Sun Route Hotel the team was driven around the Suzuka race track for a pre-view of what lay ahead. The main observations were the climb after the main straight, the severity of the right hand corner before going under the bridge, the steep left hand uphill hairpin just after that and the very tight and slow chicane before the main straight.
|Kiyoshi Yoshioka of Nippon Express backs a winner.|| ||Driver Mark Gilligan straps himself in.|
Pre-testing on the Half Track, 24 July 2002
The track was being used for motor cycle practice for the forth-coming Suzuka 8 Hour race so only the twisty part of the track was available for a short practice session with the solar car. The solar car was given a very hard practice session and speeds were such that the follow-van could not keep up with the solar car through the corners. The large front tyre was picking up rubber from the track left behind by the motor-cycles as were the tyres on the follow-van. The handling of the Aurora-RMIT 101 solar car was excellent even though it is a car designed for steady straight ahead running conditions. In this brief session we could see that more conservative driving would be required to preserve the solar car. At the end of the session with motor temperatures and battery temperatures running high we detected a severe tightening of the front wheel motor and a tight bearing on a rear wheel. The wheelmotor magnet ring had detached from its carrier and was not repairable in Japan. This motor had travelled over 20000 km since being installed and was the most efficient of the 3 motors available. The battery also saw some damage with one of its 48 modules failing. This had to be removed and the battery capacity consequently reduced.
|Dennis Thorough fixing the first battery problem.|
|Checking tyres under the Suzuka bridge.|| ||Jack and Bruce preparing the second wheelmotor.|
Pre-testing on Full Track, 25 July 2002
We were able to have a short full track practice session in between the continuing motor-cycle practice sessions. This time at more conservative speeds. It was encouraging to do several laps at under 5 minutes or faster than the expected race speed. The other encouragement was to read about 1200 watts from the solar array. In the actual race itself it was expected that about half of the energy needed to complete a 4 hour heat would be from the sun, the other half from the battery.
The other Australian entry, Lake Tuggeranong College from Canberra joined us in the midday practice session and their car appeared to be running well.
Scrutineering, 26 July 2002
This event is sanctioned by the FIA and has rigorous scrutineering procedures with visiting FIA representatives in attendance being Georg Brasseur and Dionissios Negkas. Approximately 90 cars went through this inspection in 7 hours. The Aurora-RMIT 101 solar car created much interest because it is so differently constructed than most solar cars. It was passed on all counts.
|Italian driver Adrian Marziano at weigh-in station.|| ||The Dream Cup chief scrutineer.|
|FIA officials Georg Brasseur and Dionissios Negkas.|| ||Jack's arm-wrestling determination.|
QUALIFYING AND RACE HEAT ONE
Qualifying Session, 9.15 AM 27 July 2002
A short unofficial practice session took place at 8.00 AM and provided the first opportunity to see the other major competitors in action. Official qualifying commenced at 9.15 AM. This was to determine starting positions on the grid and was based on best lap times. Adrian Marziano drove the qualifying session recording a time of 4 minutes 37.079 seconds which was good enough for third position. On this lap the telemetry data recorded a maximum speed on the straight of 116.2 km/h, a slowest speed of 32.8 km/h in the chicane and a maximum motor power of 5.143 kw. The Kanazawa team with their solar car 'KIT Golden Eagle' were the fastest at 4 minutes 16.174 seconds. The top 10 qualifiers were as follows:
|1||Number 8||Kanazawa||4'16.174||Dream Class|
|2||Number 1||OSU||4'29.539||Dream Class|
|3||Number 101||Aurora-RMIT||4'37.079||Dream Class [top speed of 116 kph]|
|4||Number 30||Kashiwakai||4'38.090||Dream Class|
|5||Number 25||Ebara||4'44.687||Dream Class|
|6||Number 2||Falcon||4'45.835||Dream Class|
|7||Number 4||Sky Ace TIGA||4'47.421||Dream Class|
|8||Number 6||Tamagawa White||4'47.688||Dream Class|
|9||Number 29||Sansan No Sango||4'53.668||Challenge Class|
|10||Number 7||Forest Walker||4'54.162||Dream Class|
|K.Nomura winning TIGA driver with lithium polymer batteries.|
|Professor Hideki Kimura and Damien trading tyres.|
Race Heat 1, 1.00 AM, 27 July 2002 - 4 Hour Duration
The first of two 4-hour heats started precisely at 1.00 AM in track temperatures of 35 degrees centigrade and clear skies. From the number 3 grid position Aurora driver Adrian Marziano took the Aurora-RMIT 101 solar car into the lead on the down-hill straight before the sweeping right hand bend then on to the first uphill section of the track. The pole sitting Kanazawa car then passed Aurora and led the first lap. TIGA and OSU were in the next two positions and the pattern of the race was established in these early laps. Aurora-RMIT 101 held second place into lap 14 closely behind Kanazawa . These two progressively drew away from TIGA and OSU as well as Tamagawa.
On lap 14 Driver Marziano reacted to a loud thumping sound coming from one of Aurora's rear wheels. He thought it was a puncture. He got out of the car using the on-board mini-bridge and found that it was not a flat tyre but instead the soft sticky plastic shell of a sky rocket attached to the tyre. The organisers were planning a fireworks display that evening and one of their practice shells had landed on the track . This was removed and the Aurora-RMIT 101 solar car resumed the race losing a number of positions. The next 3 laps were good and on lap 17 Aurora recorded the race record lap, 4'58.858 with a top speed of 104.6 km/h and a lap average speed of 70.12 kph. By this stage we could see that the tyres were worn through to the canvas and a pit stop was called for lap 18.
This pit stop required the mandatory change of driver and a new set of tyres. The car was rolled into the pit garage, lifted on the new single action jack and more than 5 minutes later Mark Gilligan set off to complete Heat 1. At this stage Aurora-RMIT 101 had dropped to eighth place.
We noted that the leading Japanese teams had tyres with longer wear characteristics and were making pit stops of less than one minute duration to just change over the drivers.
We were getting a telemetry report from the drivers on each lap mainly to determine the rate of battery usage. This was on schedule with good 'regen' power developed at the end of the straight but we were concerned about rising battery temperatures. Driver Mark Gilligan maintained quite steady lap speeds around 5'30 and by lap 32 was instructed to speed up because there appeared to be sufficient battery power in reserve. By lap 38 the Aurora-RMIT 101 car had recovered to sixth position and a top 5 finish for Heat 1 seemed possible. TIGA was in the lead followed by Forest Walker and OSU. Kanazawa was dropping back having used too much energy in the first half of the heat.
On lap 41, near the end of this 4 hour session driver Mark Gilligan called that the instrument readings were acting strangely and the motor power was intermittent. He hung on to crawl over the starting line to finally record lap 42 but stopped on the uphill section of the track and had to be towed to the pits. This was the end of Heat 1; Aurora- RMIT 101 completed 42 laps and was in sixth position as seen in the listing of the top 10 placings shown as follows:
|1||Number 4||Sky Ace TIGA||45 Laps||4:04'25.087|
|2||Number 7||Forest Walker||44 Laps||4:02'52.883|
|3||Number 1||OSU||44 Laps||4:04'55.799|
|4||Number 6||Tamagawa White||44 Laps||4:06'13.342|
|5||Number 8||Kanazawa||43 Laps||4:08'20.743|
|6||Number 101||Aurora-RMIT||42 Laps||4:03'20.743|
|7||Number 2||Falcon||41 Laps||4:05'55.157|
|8||Number 5||Sky Ace 2||40 Laps||4:01'53.758|
|9||Number 21||SunLake Toyobo||40 Laps||4:04'57.121|
|10||Number 30||Kashiwakai||40 Laps||4:06'20.934|
Examination of the Aurora batteries at the end of the first heat showed that temperatures at one end of the battery pack had exceeded the maximum allowable by some significant margin. This in turn caused 3 modules to fail and go to open circuit. As well as that we failed a voltage sensor and its adjacent resistor and had another electrical short which we could not trace.
Some other data from the telemetry unit is as follows:
Maximum solar array power reading:
|Average solar array power over 4 hours||560 Watts|
|Average solar array current produced||3.2 amps|
|Maximum motor power used||5.114 kW|
|Maximum speed||104.6 km/h|
|Maximum current input [solar and regen]||29.7 amps|
|Maximum current draw||32.4 amps|
Time losses in the first heat were accumulated as follows:
|Stop to remove fire-works shell||lost 4 min 45 secs|
|Stop to change all tyres||lost 4 min 9 secs|
|Failed battery on last lap||lost 8 min 20 secs|
|Total:||lost 17 min 14 secs|
Without these periods of lost time it is theoretically possible that the Aurora-RMIT 101 would have completed another 3 laps equalling the heat winner TIGA at 45 laps.
On Sunday 13 October Michael Schumacher won the Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka racetrack. You would expect the fastest race car in the world to record some impressive times and it did. But the contrast to Aurora-RMIT 101 on the same circuit, using no fuel and producing no emissions is interesting.
|Qualifying Lap:||F1/ Schumacher||1 min 31.317 sec||Solar Car/ Marziano||4 min 37.079 sec|
|Race Lap:||F1/ Schumacher||1 min 36.125 sec||Solar Car/ Marziano||4 min 58.858 sec|
|Top Speed:||F1/ Schumacher||294 kph||Solar Car/ Marziano||116 kph|
|Aurora-RMIT 101 finishes Heat 1 of Dream Cup in sixth place.|
RACE HEAT 2 AND OVERALL RESULTS
Race Heat 2, 28 July 2002 - 4 Hour Duration
The battery scrutineers allowed the Aurora team to by- pass the three failed modules in an effort to have us compete in Heat 2 on Sunday. The batteries were released to competitors at 10.00 AM on Sunday morning and the teams used the next 2 hours to charge the batteries in weak morning sun.
Aurora spent this time trying to trace the electrical short that had been evident the previous day and were unable to charge the diminished size battery. After 2 hours we were no closer to a solution and were unable to stage the car on the starting grid for the start of Heat 2. This was a great disappointment to both the team and the race organisers. The Aurora team had been well treated in this event and even competitors wished us every success but it was not to be. In the event summary booklet the organisers generously devoted a half page to the Aurora entry with the following words.
" The Aurora Team was the great white hope of the event. Last year in the 2001 World Solar Challenge, the team broke the record set by the 1996 Honda Dream and everyone attests to its capability. The car is well known for its unusual design with one front driving wheel and two rear wheels. We expected that the team would win the race and become the first ever winner of the Suzuka Dream Cup.
On the first day in the first heat they did a very good race as expected. They played an exciting part in the early stages staying with the top group and holding at least 6th place. Towards the end of the race Aurora suddenly lost speed and power. The team worried about this fact on the first day.
At the second heat on the following day the Aurora solar car was in much trouble as was the team's concern. The battery was not in good condition and there was another electrical breakdown which meant that they unfortunately could not start on time. Nobody expected that Aurora would be retired from this point of the race. It was very unlucky since Aurora recorded the fastest lap on the first day and we felt so sorry about this unexpected result."
|Interpreter Terry enters the battery race for Aurora on Day 2.|| ||T.Nomura, chief of winning TIGA team.|
As spectators we settled in to watch the battle for first place. The extremely well managed TIGA team eventually won the event completing another 45 laps for a total of 90 laps. The top 10 finishers were as follows:
|1||Number 4||Sky Ace TIGA||90 Laps||4:04'25.087||4:05'20.839|
|2||Number 7||Forest Walker||88 Laps||4:02'52.833||4:01'36.789|
|3||Number 1||OSU 85 Laps||85 Laps||4:04'55.799||4:04'32.543|
|4||Number 8||Kanazawa||84 Laps||4:08'20.743||4:05'12.064|
|5||Number 2||Falcon||81 Laps||4:05'55.157||4:03'56.659|
|6||Number 21||SunLake Toyobo||80 Laps||4:04'57.121||4:03'55.076|
|7||Number 5||Sky Ace 2||79 Laps||4:01'53.758||4:05'20.839|
|8||Number 30||Kashiwakai||70 Laps||4:06'20.934||3:59'29.131|
|9||Number 25||Ebara Eco-Tech||70 Laps||4:02'33.091||4:05'03.524|
|10||Number 12||Nextage||70 Laps||4:08'30.556||4:05'52.820|
|13||Number 10||Spirit of C'berra||60 Laps|| || |
|25||Number 101||Aurora-RMIT 101||42 Laps|| || |
|The TIGA team celebrate a great win.|
The best 'overseas entry' finishing position in the 10 year history of the Suzuka Dream Cup has been fifth place. This was achieved by After Burner from Stanford in 1995 and MIT in 1998.
In contrast to this Suzuka event the top 5 Japanese finishers at the 2001 World Solar Challenge were:
|Tamagawa Dolphin [White]||7th|
|Tamagawa Dolphin [Yellow]||12th|
|Sky Ace TIGA||17th|
WORLD SOLAR RALLYE AT AKITA 2002 - RACE ANALYSIS
The second major event on the Japanese solar racing calendar was the World Solar Rallye at Akita which took place 2-4 August 2002. Akita is an area some 1000 km away from Suzuka and many of the entrants that appeared at Suzuka were at the Akita event a week later. The track is actually at Ogata-mura which is a low-lying agricultural area beyond the city of Akita. This area has been created by draining a large enclosed but shallow bay which has been dedicated to farming. Within this reclaimed land is a long and mostly straight piece of road which is used for the World Solar Rallye and other events.
The event is staged over three consecutive days for a total running time of approximately 24-25 hours. The winner is the team that accumulates the most laps in that time. The length of one lap is 31.256 km. This means that for the majority of time the solar car driver is out of contact with his pit crew unless he uses a mobile phone. Should the solar car break down out on the track the driver is the first to try to attempt a repair. If that fails then the race organisers conduct a regular drive around the track in a support car which can bring pit crew of the broken down solar car to provide further assistance. The organisers will not allow a car to start a new lap in the last hour of the particular racing day. All categories and class of car compete at the same time. Approximately 65 entrants were on hand for the 2002 event
Event Chairman is Hisahiro Yamamoto, himself a solar car campaigner with the car JonaSun. A new smaller JonaSun appeared at this event.
SCRUTINEERING AND QUALIFYING
The event rules have some similarity to those of the World Solar Challenge but have been recently changed to more fall in line with cars meeting the ISF 5000 and ISF 4000 categories. Battery weight allowance for lithium ion technology is 22 kg whereas the World Solar Challenge allows 36 kg.
Prior to attending the WSR the Aurora team knew that they would not be an official entry because the vehicle width rules had now been set at 1.8 meters whereas the Aurora-RMIT 101 solar car is 2.0 meters wide. A further excursion to the rules was that Aurora had failed its 21 kg battery pack at Suzuka and only had its WSC 36 kg pack available as back-up. This was allowed by the organisers considering that Aurora was running as an unofficial entry. A special flashing blue light had to be fitted to the Aurora car to signify to other competitors that it was an unofficial entry.
A new rule for Aurora was the requirement to pass a 'hand-brake' test. This added feature had been part of the Japan trip preparations and we passed that test.
The two remaining electrical problems were a worry. A voltage sensor was found by Prof. Kimura of the Tokai University team so we were able to repair the telemetry system. We still had an electrical short in the carbon fibre bodywork. Adrian Marziano volunteered to drive the car for qualifying with the shorting problem and recorded seventh fastest time averaging 49 kph over the 400 metre standing start test. The beautifully designed Enax car was the top qualifier at 66 kph.
We found the electrical short [actually three of them] just before the first race on 2 August. The bare wire connecting the solar panel was touching the carbon fibre upper bodywork in 3 places, This was finally fixed and caused no more problems. In recognition that Aurora-RMIT 101 was an unofficial entry it was started ahead of the field.
|Checking solar car dimensions at World Solar Rallye at Akita|
|The great little Junkyard car dwarfed by Aurora.|| ||Aurora-RMIT 101 solar car at qualifying run.|
|Mark Gilligan celebrates at end of scrutineering.|
DAY 1 - FRIDAY, 2 AUGUST 2002
The weather was clear with good sunshine available for the start of the first day of racing. Aurora was first to leave and was given a 1 minute start ahead of the rest of the field. Before the end of the first lap Aurora had been passed by Enax. Adrian Marziano was the Aurora driver for the first 3 hour session. A good battle ensued between Enax and Aurora over the first 11 laps or 344 km with both cars setting lap speed well ahead of the other competitors. On lap 2 Aurora did 28 min 2 sec the 27min 54 sec on lap 3. Enax hit back with27 min 41 sec on lap 4 then Aurora with 26 min 30 sec on lap 4 followed by 25 min 19 sec on lap 5.
Aurora held the lead from lap 4 to 6 when it made a pit stop and Enax went back into the lead. Driver Mark Gilligan did his best time on lap Lap 9 with a time of 25 min 54 sec but Enax was still in the lead which it finally relinquished to Aurora on Lap 11.
On Lap 13 Driver Aurora took over the Aurora-RMIT 101 solar car and recorded his fastest lap of 24 min 37 sec on the last and 16th lap of the day. In this lap the telemetry recorded a fastest speed of 126.8 kph. and a lap average speed of 76.2 kph.
Aurora was the only competitor to achieve 16 laps [500 km] on this first day which took 7 :20:10 hours. The seven fastest laps of the day had been recorded by Aurora. The official top five on the first day were as follows:
|1||Tamagawa Dolphin [White]||15 laps||7:30:45||fastest lap 28:59|
|2||Sky Ace TIGA||14 laps||7:12:58||fastest lap 29:32|
|3||Tokai Spirit 2002||14 laps||7:19:02||fastest lap 28:49|
|4||Kanazawa||14 laps||7:31:36||fastest lap 27:57|
|5||ENAX||13 laps||6:42:55||fastest lap 26:23|
The late afternoon sun was good for battery recharging with the solar array recording peaks of 1200 watts.
|Aurora starts a new lap beside the pit tents.|
|Damien downloads the telemetry information.|
DAY 2 - SATURDAY 3 AUGUST 2002
The battery packs were released from their secure storage at 4.00 AM so that teams could recharge before the official start time of 8.00 AM but no sun was evident until 7.15 AM just before the field was required to form the starting grid. It was going to be a slower day than the first and Aurora took the decision to run the entire second day on the solar energy collected during the 9 hours of racing.
Again Aurora was given the privilege of starting at the head of the field with a 1 minute start on the rest. The field was conserving precious energy taking a whole six minutes to roll past the starting line.
Under instruction Aurora crept around the track at little more than 60 kph settling into seventh place. By lap 5 Aurora was 17 minutes behind the leading car Tamagawa Dolphin [White] but maintaining its strategy of running on solar energy alone. At this point fastest lap belonged to Tamagawa at 29:42 whereas Aurora's fastest was 31:51.
The afternoon saw a great contest between the three top Japanese teams with the Tamagawa White car crossing for 16 laps just 7 minutes ahead of Tokai Spirit which also recorded 16 laps. Sky Ace TIGA was in third followed by Kanazawa and Aurora all three of these recording 15 laps.
The cumulative results after two days and about 1000 km of racing were as follows:
|0||Aurora-RMIT 101||31 laps||+51 [Unofficial entry]|
|1||Tamagawa White||31 laps||+69|
|2||Tokai Spirit||30 laps||+51|
|3||Sky Ace TIGA||29 laps||+30|
|Professor Hideki Kimura from Tokai University.|| ||Waving on the Tamagawa Yellow solar car.|
|Tamagawa's mountainous performance.|
DAY 3 - SUNDAY 4 AUGUST 2002
The weather was bleak even though the competitors batteries were released at 4.00 AM. In fact it was raining a lot with black drenching skies. Our plan to run on solar energy yesterday looked to have been a stroke of good luck!
At 7.00 AM the race organisers announced that a race start would be delayed for 3 hours till 1.00 AM and a start would still depend on weather conditions. Good news at 8.30 AM when the sun burst through and batteries could be charged. More importantly was the ability to dry out tents and clothes to allow a reasonable pack up at the end of the event.
At 11.00 AM the shortened race on Day 3 began. Aurora intended to go fast having a shortened race day and a good charge in the battery. Our hope was to achieve 10 laps which meant that lap 9 would have to be completed in 4 hours or an average lap time of 26 min 26 sec. We had done some laps at that speed on Day 1 but not 9 in a row.
Kanazawa was setting the pace with surprisingly Tamagawa's second [yellow] car in pursuit. Aurora driven by Mark Gilligan was right behind them and for the next 5 laps these three entertained the onlookers with nose to tail solar car racing. Kanazawa faded on lap 5 and Tamagawa briefly led the next lap before it also faded and Aurora-RMIT 101 took the lead.
After a fast pit at the end of lap 5 Adrian Marziano got in to attempt to beat the clock and cross the start/finish line with 9 laps before 3.00 PM. This would have given Aurora the chance to be the only car to do 10 laps on Day 3.
Lap 7 was recorded at 24 min 54 sec. The gap to the next 2 cars was widening. Lap 8 was 25 min 37 sec with Adrian encountering traffic. This was the end of the attempt to get to 10 laps. Adrian pulled out a huge lap for lap 9 recording 23 min 53 sec but missed the 3.00 PM deadline by 1 min 30 sec. On the last 4 laps Aurora had exceeded 110 kph.
After 3 days of racing the unofficial winner was Aurora-RMIT 101 having also recorded the 10 fastest laps. There was a great race between Tokai Spirit and Tamagawa White for the overall first place at this 2002 World Solar Rallye with the final positions being:
|0||Aurora-RMIT 101||40 laps||+53 [Unofficial entry]|
|1||Tamagawa White||40 laps||+93|
|2||Tokai Spirit 2002||39 laps||+76|
|3||Sky Ace TIGA||38 laps||+55|
|5||Tamagawa Yellow||37 laps||+74|
Aurora team members greatly enjoyed this event and the hospitality and generosity of other competitors and event officials. The neighbouring Tamagawa team were enthusiastic about their cars and taught us how to enjoy ourselves. We really liked the Enax car and the Junkyard car for being well built and fast. Prof. Kimura was extremely generous in finding a crucial part for us and in loaning us a two-way radio system for the event. Event Chairman Yamamoto was very astute in the manner in which handled the fact that we were an unofficial entry.
|Waiting for the sun; Dennis with Hans Tholstrup.|| ||Aurora-RMIT 101 in race trim.|
|Aurora leading the field on Day 1.|
SUPPLEMENTARY TELEMETRY DATA
| ||DAY 1||DAY 2||DAY 3|
|Max Solar Power||1371 Watts||1337 Watts||1376 Watts|
|Ave. Solar Power||603 Watts||318 Watts||503 Watts|
|Ave. Array Current||3.2 amps||1.7 amps||2.7 amps|
|Top Speed||126.8 kph||91.4 kph||118.8 kph|
|Best lap||24m 37s||31m 29s||23m 53s|
|Best Ave. Lap Speed||76.2 kph||59.6 kph||78.5 kph|
We concluded that because of our battery strategy on day 2 it is possible that having to use our larger 36 kg battery pack provided almost no advantage over having a 22 kg battery pack.. This is one of those 'what if' theories and we will never really know.