We started out this morning about 40 miles south of Grand Forks, ND. The morning was cloudy, so we got very little power going in to the pack. However, due to a conservative strategy yesterday and a great evening charge last night, we were able to run fairly quickly. In the late morning, we managed to pass FH Bochum and Waterloo, the two teams directly ahead of us in the overall standings!
The passage in to Canada was a breeze, partly in thanks to our scout vehicle, who went ahead and ensured that everything was in order before the solar car got there. In under 5 minutes, the entire caravan was through customs and in to Canada. The drive through Manitoba was uneventful, and we ran through at a constant speed the entire way. Fortunately, our navigator had a conversion table for speeds handy, so the solar car driver (who's speedometer is only in MPH) had little trouble interpreting the speed limits.
We arrived in Winnipeg at about 3:00PM, 2.5 hours behind Michigan, 1.5 hours behind Principia, 10 minutes ahead of Waterloo, and about 1 hour ahead of FH Bochum. Surprisingly (partially due to bad weather), these teams are the only ones that arrived in Winnipeg under their own power; the rest of the field was forced to trailer to avoid large penalties for being late to a stage stop. As things stand now, the top 5 positions are unchanged, but the time intervals have moved around a bit. It should be interesting to see how the teams (all of whom have very different design approaches) fare in the next leg of the race, which is the longest yet. The trick from here to Medicine Hat will be to simply keep going; a team must average 25MPH for the next 18 hours of driving in order to complete the stage on time, so reliability (which our car has plenty of) will be key.
As a member of the team, it's difficult to think that we only have three more days of racing before the season is all over. It seems like we've been doing this (raycing, that is) forever, and each day seems more and more like a routine running of the solar car on a weekend back home. I suppose this is a testament to how much testing we have done before the race. It's odd to think that we will only have to wake up heinously early three more times to charge the solar car before it's time to go back to the drawing boards and start this amazing adventure all over again.