2005 - 2006 Campaigns
AUSTRALIA DAY AND AURORA PLACE
AURORA 101 SOLAR CAR SUNS ITSELF IN SYDNEY
26 January 2006
Home to magnificent beaches and a summer lifestyle, Sydney welcomed the visit of Australia's best solar car to celebrate Australia Day on 26 January 2006 and then put it on display at the leading new office centre, Aurora Place.
|Aurora 101 proudly displayed in Aurora Place, Sydney|
Fresh from its record setting Melbourne to Sydney run on 24 January 2006 [887 km in 12 hours 15 minutes] the Aurora 101 solar car was scheduled to be part of Sydney's Australia Day celebrations at Centennial Park in the festival to mark the passage of the Queen's Baton Relay. The Australian portion of the relay commenced at the Sydney Botanical Gardens early on the morning of Australia Day having already journeyed through every country of the Commonwealth. It will finish in Melbourne by opening the 2006 Commonwealth Games in March.
|Runner 034 in the Queen's Baton Relay|
But let's not take it all too seriously. This was a fun day. The dogs at Centennial Park loved it.
Unleashed in a free running area near the Federation Pavilion in Centennial Park they created a celebration of 'chase and be caught' for their owners and the hundreds of kids in attendance.
|Free range dog(s)|
|Aurora's day at Centennial Park|
|Michelin's 'Bibendum' pleased the crowd|
It had its importance. You could tell by the presence of the politicians, most prominent of which was the recently promoted Federal member Malcolm Turnbull. He has some great ideas for taxation or less of it.
|Ian Dyk explains the solar car to Federal politician Malcolm Turnbull|
Cruising the Centennial Park circuit in the solar car, driver Ian Dyk surprised many of the joggers and bike riders by the silent glide of the solar car as it completed 3 laps.
|Aurora 101 glides around Centennial Park|
By mid afternoon it was time to set up a solar car display at Aurora Place. Macquarie Street was jammed with interesting vintage and veteran cars including our friends with the Sunswift solar car from UNSW. Before long the solar car was proudly on show in the Sydney home of sponsors Minter Ellison and EAPG. The natural forces were also on display through images of the ABN-AMRO promotion of its two entries in the Volvo Round World Yacht Race. Now that's an expensive pursuit.
|Tony Richards of EAPG admires the solar car|
|The display for the round world yachts|
As in 101 Collins Street many tenants and visitors to the building were more than interested in the sun powered Aurora 101 and over the week of display some 300 posters saw their way out the door. Building supremo Tony Richards made all this possible with a minimum of fuss. EAPG were developers of Aurora Place along with Lend Lease and Mivac. They somehow managed to have world famous Italian architect Renzo Piano design this beautiful building which now graces Sydney's financial district. Visitors to the Pompidou Centre in Paris or Osaka's brave new Kansai Airport built on an artificial island can also reflect on Renzo Piano's work.
Did it rain? Not once.
AURORA 101 SHAVES THE MELBOURNE TO SYDNEY RECORD
887 KM ON NOT MUCH SUN, 12 HOURS 15 MINUTES
24 January 2006
It should have been easier than this but the unexpected lack of clear sun made this trip much more difficult.
It started from 101 Collins Street Melbourne at 6.25 AM, flagged away by the General Manager of 101 Collins Street Peter Young. He said he needed an early start in the office. The Aurora 101 team clearly needed more sleep. Turning up in the dark at 5.30 AM for a trip to Sydney could have been more comfortable.
|Derrick Rodgers prepares for the dash to Albury|
|Peter Young flags the solar car away at 6.25 AM|
The team for this record attempt was Peter Pudney from Adelaide, Ian Dyk from Sydney, Derrick Rodgers from Hamilton, Dennis Trewhella from the UK as well as Andrew Lamb and David Fewchuk from Melbourne. Team member Sally Forsyth had prepared lunches for the trip team and former team manager Viv Baddeley was on hand for photographs.
Eleven hours was the target duration for the trip, Really just an average speed of 80 km/h. Considering the recent performances of the solar supercar Aurora 101 in the Suzuka ‘Dream Cup’, the Panasonic World Solar Challenge and the 24 hour world record this 11 hour target should have been beaten as well.
Clearing Melbourne the convoy of two Mazdas and the solar car took a quaint ‘hook turn’ at Elizabeth Street, joined the Tullamarine Freeway , the Western Ring Road and Craigieburn Bypass for a quick link with the unbroken dual lane Hume highway. The trip to Albury saw a 100 km average speed maintained. No complaints even passing ‘Howlong’ 284 km along the way.
Ian Dyk used the trip to Albury for a bit of sleep but took over at the fuel stop for the trip to Gundagai. Peter Pudney called for 90 km/h as the skies were definitely developing smoke haze from the Victorian bushfires. This section of highway had many construction zones and two lane passages needing considerable driver concentration. At Gundagai Peter had to pull up his traditional red socks, confer with the ‘Dog on the Tuckerbox’ and re-calculate the strategy for the remaining half of the trip.
|Directions from the dog||Just interfering with lunch in Gundagai|
|What a distraction, a real solar car|
Derrick drove the next section heading off into the worsening haze, still at 90 km/h. We were hoping for an improvement in direct sunlight but it never came. The haze worsened; soon there were hardly any shadows and finally just cloud. Peter continued to wrestle with the running strategy assisted by Andrew Lamb who was checking the telemetry data..
|Heading into worsening skies|
The outlook recorded at 2.15 PM and 640 km was ‘strong headwinds, full cloud, 60 km/h and an emptying battery’. Still 250 km to go to the end point at Sydney’s Aurora Place.
At 2.40 PM or 663 KM it was ‘light rain, 50 km/h and cloud in all directions’. Amazingly the solar panel of the car was generating 200-300 watts, enough to maintain about 40 km/h.
At 2.48 PM or 669 KM we passed the road marker saying this was the highest point on the highway, 723 metres. It was 218 km to Sydney and theoretically downhill. The battery condition was down to 6 amp hours just one seventh of its capacity. Optimistically we calculated that the 700 metre drop would be equivalent to another 4 amp hours. Losing hope of even reaching Sydney or breaking any record we finished off our lunches had one more driver change and toilet break and slid Ian Dyk into the drivers’s seat for the prospect of not making it. His high speed racing Porsche drives looking a lot more exciting than the sedate 60 km/h pace he was asked to maintain.
The gloomy weather was a benefit for the many motorists that after passing the solar car would stop by the side of the road to get a good picture as we crept on by.
The two way radio channel we were using also provided a bit of amusement as other users on the same channel could be heard to comment. The conversation between two semi-trailer drivers travelling in the opposite direction went like this:
“ Hey mate, look at what’s coming the other way, its one of them solar cars.”
“ Yeh, I suppose we’ll all be driving one of them soon the way petrol’s going”
“ Bet it can’t carry the load you’ve got on your truck!”
“ Yeah and I bet you can’t do what we used to in the back seat!!”
Peter desperately judged that we needed to travel on light energy without any draw from what was left in the battery. This was to be left for the Dash through Sydney’s peak hour traffic if we got as far as the M5 Motorway. Only 125 km to go!! Thankfully its also downhill. A 600 metre drop in 125 KM. Figure that one out.
We were mightily relieved to reach the M5. Ian’s Dad and supporter Gary Jones joined our convoy camera rolling. We learnt all about the madness of Sydney traffic on entering the 7 km long tunnel of the M5. Two narrow lanes, no shoulders and tight traffic all travelling at the 80 km/h limit. The low [less than a metre high] solar car was dwarfed but had to hold position, even changing lanes so we passed through the electronically controlled toll gates.
Then the same as we swung north on the Eastern Distributor. More lane changing but superbly managed by Ian Dyk who also works part time as a courier in Sydney.
Then on to the exit for Macquarie Street, out of the tunnels into the rain and a traffic jam.
|Emerging, wet but almost there|
|Sure enough Macquarie Street is in the centre of the city|
Aurora 101 crept uphill crossed Macquarie Street and rolled on to the pedestrian apron opposite Aurora Place. It was 6.40 PM, the odometer said 887 km. The record had been broken. In the gloom Channel 7 turned up to record the record asking whether we could take it around the block for filming in action.
|A couple of very relieved drivers, Ian Dyk and Derrick Rodgers|
Very sorry the batteries had enough only for a sputtering half block.
Channel 7 , isn’t it a bit dark?
AURORA 101 DISPLAYS ITS CLASS AT 101 COLLINS STREET
16-20 January 2006
Around the world of solar cars the Melbourne based champions proudly use the number 101 as their race identification. This reflects a decade long association with the high technology and leading office centre of Melbourne. The unique reversed numeral 101 is not only the logo of this prestigious centre but also marks the solar supercar Aurora.
|The entrance to 101 Collins Street|
Its no surprise that the top tenants of 101 Collins Street recognise this association but the many visitors to the building appreciate seeing high technology on show in the lavish entry lobby of this landmark Melbourne location.
Just seventeen days after setting a new 24 hour world solar car record Aurora 101 was looking great accompanied by its Mazda 6 support car and a range of hard won trophies on the marble floor of this building.
|The Aurora 101 display|
New display banners and a new 26 year poster reflecting Aurora;s long standing association with Michelin were enough to create a lot of interest. Over 300 posters were taken 'for the kids'. Actually the poster is packed with information about the World Solar Challenge, Aurora's world records, and its significant achievements over 26 years of developing world leading examples of extreme efficiency in transport.
|The selection of trophies and the new 26 year poster
It was a very suitable occasion to give the 'boss' of 101 Collins Street Peter Young a memento of the visit; a framed picture of the supercar at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin.
|Aurora leader David Fewchuk presents 101 Collins Street boss Peter Young with a memento of the display|
Since August the Aurora 101 solar car has covered nearly 6000 km in competition distance in the Suzuka 'Dream Cup', the Panasonic World Solar Challenge and the 24 hour world record. All just a warm up for the record attempt on 24 January 2006, Melbourne to Sydney. As they say, it all depends on the weather! Leaving from 101 Collins Street at 6,00 AM.
Five year old Noah demanded that Dad bring him to see the solar car