Feeds

World Solar combatants rev their engines batteries

We who are about to drive salute you

Boost IT visibility and business value

Drag the dead donkey

First up, beware the Japanese of Tokai University, who took the title in 2009 and are back to defend their crown with an impressively sleek solar beast. We asked Kenjiro Shinozuka (pictured, below), what made the difference between success and failure in a high-stakes solar race.

Kenjiro Shinozuka of Tokai University

He told us: "This year the organisers changed the regulations. We can't use more powerful panels, and everyone is using silicon. This has levelled the playing field. So nine or ten teams have almost the same performance. The most important day is tomorrow: the first day. If anyone makes a small mistake it could be come a big problem."

Pitched against the might of Japan is the University of Michigan, whose truly tremendous trailer has raised a few eyebrows here in Darwin. Pilot Troy Halm (pictured) said the World Solar Challenge is the world's most competitive solarcar endurance event and that the team is here to win the race, after ending in third place a frustrating three times in a row.

Troy Halm of the University of Michigan

The Michigan car is performing "very, very well," he says. "We have spent countless hours in optimizing the car. It is extremely light and extraordinarily efficient."

Regarding the trailer, he laughed and invited us to take a look see. You can see the interior in our upcoming vid, but suffice to say, it's the USS Nimitz on wheels. In fact it is almost as big as a U2 green room trailer.

No matter how big your trailer, you've still got to beat the Dutch, in the form of Nuon and their Nuna6. The five-times champions are back in Australia to regain their crown, and although we missed their car trials down at the Hidden Valley Motor Sport Complex track, we were able to catch up with some of the team experts at their luxury apartment complex close to the centre of Darwin.

Willem Zwetsloot (pictured right, below, with, Mike Hoogstraten centre, and Noud Brasjen) declared: "We want the title back, so the pressure is on again. Our focus this year is on the reliability of the car. In previous years we have seen many cars breaking down and that is costly. We are battling very hard for first place and we see Tokai and Michigan as the big contenders. But many other teams experienced in the silicon class are here - we will see what happens."

Nuon team members pose for the camera

The Heart of Lightness

The front page of today's newstastic NT NewsWe will indeed. Tomorrow, teams and media will assemble in the centre of Darwin for a quick photo call before heading off into the dusty heart of Oz. Expect updates as and when conditions allow, and for our bootnotes fans, I leave you with today's front page of the NT News, which leads with the quite remarkable story of the 13-year-old lad who was not unreasonably pulled by the local Boys in Blue while towing a donkey carcass behind a 4x4.

This being Oz, he also had a firearm on the passenger seat, although he mercifully wasn't cracking one off and toking on a fat spliff when officers swooped.

As of right now, we have two heartfelt wishes: to arrive safe and sound in Adelaide; and if we do perish on the highway, not to feature on the front page of the NT News. Check our Twitter thingy to see if we're still alive, and therefore, non-newsworthy. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
TRANSMUTATION claims US LENR company
Ten points of stuff out of a five pound bag
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
BAT-GOBBLING urban SPIDER QUEENS swell to ENORMOUS SIZE
But they'd lose a deathmatch against the coming Humvee-sized, armoured Arctic ones
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?