The Punch Powertrain Solar Team had another day of bad luck in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of the three connection points where the rear wheel was connected to the car, broke off. Driving the car was not possible untill the problem was fixed. The students lost time, but are still fifth in the race.
After the penalty the students got yesterdat, they were determined to gain some places in the ranking. But after driving 100 kilometres something went wrong. During a control stop in Coober Pedy the driver noticed there was a problem with the right rear wheel.
Thomas Mertens of the Punch Powertrain Solar Team: “A rod end of the swingarm broke off. A rod end is the connection point between the car and the wheel. As this broke off, we have to fix it before we want to get back on the road.
The reparation went smooth, but the students lost a lot of precious time. How the connection broke off is not clear at the moment. After the race the students will do resaerch on the rod end to see what went wrong.
After a flat tire on the first day and the penalty they got yesterday, this is the third setback for the group of students. They aimed for a place on the podium, but this won’t be possible anymore. Despite all the setbacks the Belgian students are still fifth in the ranking, just 40 minutes behind Tokai University. Tomorrow the two Dutch teams will battle for the golden medal. The University of Michigan is still in third position. With only 300 kilometres to go the solar car will reach Adelaide tomorrow.