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Aussies Set To Win Solar Car Race

October 21, 1999

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) _ An Australian team was poised to win the fifth World Solar Challenge on Thursday, just about a half-hour’s drive from the finish line in the coast-to-coast race for sun-powered cars.

Victoria State team Aurora 101 reached the final control stop at Angle Vale, north of Adelaide, after traveling about 370 miles on Thursday.

Aurora 101 was guaranteed first place, barring a breakdown, with race rules banning cars from overtaking each other in the remaining noncompetitive section.

The race began Sunday in the northern city of Darwin. Aurora’s leading time so far is 41 hours, six minutes and it has traveled at an average speed of 45.23 mph.

Canadian entry Radiance, from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, was in second place, its best-ever placing.

University of Queensland’s Sunshark team was in third place, camped a short distance outside Angle Vale, with the Northern Territory University’s Desert Rose in fourth place and Japan’s KIT Golden Eagle running fifth.

Aurora team manager David Fewchuk said the team expected to finish Thursday but a weather change in the late afternoon prevented them from crossing the finish line.

In the last competition, in 1996, Honda Dream set a race record of just over 33 hours with an average speed for the 1,870 mile run of 55.65 mph.

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