[Update October 19th, 01:15 UTC / October 19th 20:45 NT time]
Solar Team Twente updated their website about racing day four. Shortly after the start Aurora passed Twente and could drive in sixth place for a while. Before the end of the day, however, Twente could make its move and passed not only Aurora but Ashiya as well, ending up in fourth place. The team spends the night near CP Coober Pedy. This means that they have a little over 850 km to cover before they reach Adelaide. With the cloudy weather that’s predicted for racing day five I doubt it’s possible to make that in one day.
Team captain Siebe Brinkhof expressed the team’s goal of trying to catch up with the number three, the University of Michigan team, but as the latter has only a bit more than 500 km to go before they finish and the distance between the two is around 200 km, it remains to be seen if that proves possible.
Their nice mobile app shows their battery as 50% full.
Nuon also updated their website (in Dutch). Nuon also had an exciting racing as they managed to close the gap with Tokai to 35km. Tokai’s satellite data seemed to indicate that they slowed down to under 80 km/h near the end of the day while Nuon kept up a high speed. Mind you: this tracker is not mounted in the solar car but in one of their fleet vehicles, so it’s possible (but not likely) that this data does not indicate the speed and position of the Japanese solar car.
If it’s true they slowed down, it could mean a number of things. Possibly the team is depleting their battery at a higher rate than expected, possibly they suddenly found out about the cloudy weather approaching (as far as I know, Tokai does not have weather car) and wanted to conserve their energy or possibly there is a technical problem. If anything, it makes the race more exciting.
Although Tokai still has the lead it is by no means certain who will finish first. We’ll know in less than a day!