News State Northern Territory Not so hot: World Solar Challenge cars hit trouble early
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Not so hot: World Solar Challenge cars hit trouble early

World Solar Challenge
At least seven teams ran into trouble not far from the starting line in Darwin. Photo: ABC
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It was a bumpy start for at least seven teams on Sunday morning as the 30th World Solar Challenge began from Darwin.

Nearly 40 teams left the Top End, and started the 3000-kilometre journey to Adelaide, but a number succumbed to issues before they left the city limits.

Hundreds of people braved the searing heat and humidity to watch the race begin in front of Darwin’s Parliament House.

Among the top 10 starters, Adelaide University’s team ran into trouble a short distance from the start line.

But after a push from teammates they joined the race and began the journey home.

Only a few kilometres down the road, barely out of the city, the race appeared to claim its first car.

Mississippi Choctaw High School’s Tushka Hashi III did not make it far, pulling over in a side lane and flanked by challenge officials.

World Solar Challenge
Crowds came out to see the race to start in Darwin. Photo: ABC

Teams from the Australian National University and the University of New South Wales also appeared to have problems with both cars pulled off the road.

Added to the list were cars from Germany, Malaysia and South Korea.

As some teams worked to get their vehicles back on the bitumen, others were streets ahead hitting speeds of above 100 kilometres per hour.

A number of teams, including Belgium, Sweden, Japan and defending champions from The Netherlands, Nuon, jostled it out for the lead before the first check point in Katherine.

Unlike the Challengers, the Cruiser Class winner is not just based on the time taken to get to the finish line.

Instead, energy efficiency and how close to reality the car’s design is are taken into account.

Teams can afford to take a more leisurely pace in a bid to maintain even energy use and hope it pays off at the finish line.

-ABC