Solar powered car from Uniten took part in the World Solar Challenge 2009.Read the full news from Bernama by Syed Azwan Syed Ali below.
32 SOLAR CARS START TREK ACROSS AUSTRALIA.
DARWIN (Australia), Oct 25 — Thirty-two solar-powered cars including Solar Ranger1 from Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten) on Sunday start long the trek across Australia in the World Solar Challenge 2009.
The solar cars representing teams from 15 countries were flagged off at Darwin parliament house at 8.30am watched by hundreds of spectators and world media representatives who gathered as early as 7am.
The Netherlands Nuon Solar team with the car Nuna5 was the race favourite.
Malaysian representative Solar Ranger1 which had a technical problem also qualified.
Uniten’s 15-member team were confident that Solar Ranger1 would finish the 3,000km trek from Darwin, Northern Territory to Adelaide, South Australia.
Other than handling the solar car system, the teams would also face challenges, not to mention the weather conditions.
The drivers stamina was not the only factor as they also had to synchronise the directive and information received from the escort cars.
“It is not only about machine as human factor also has a role,” Mohd Syafiq Khasmani, Solar Ranger1 driver and Uniten engineering student said. The other drivers were Edmund Ti Wee Keat, Aziz Suhaimi and Yaw Chong Tak.
Each team comprised four drivers who took turns to drive the solar cars over nine days starting at 8am daily.
The drivers would stop and put up camp at 5pm daily before continuing the race the next day.
Signs of the enormous challenge ahead was seen when several cars developed engine and brake problems about 20km after the flag-off.
Solar Ranger1 had no such problem and managed to reach the first pitstop near Katherine, about 320km from Darwin via Stuart Highway.
The main challenge for Solar Ranger1 which proudly has the 1Malaysia logo across the body would be to finish the race.
Wolfgang Three, an observer from Germany was confident that Uniten’s team could spring a surprise.
“It is not mission impossible. Your team (Uniten) can do it,” he said.
The World Solar Challenge is part of the Global Green Challenge 2009 which ends on Friday.