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Friday, 23 November, 2001, 14:21 GMT
Mad Dog laps it up
Mad Dog, South Bank University
Mad Dog crosses the finish line in Adelaide
Martine Follain, who is with Britain's Mad Dog team competing in the 2001 World Solar Challenge in Australia, watches the UK vehicle complete the 3,010-kilometre race from Darwin to Adelaide.

Champagne showered over the Mad Dog team seconds after the car crossed the finishing line in Adelaide just after 1pm (local time) on Friday.

Mad Dog, South Bank Uni
A testing time for the students
The car was pushed to its limits on its approach to the South Australian city, running flat out at 90 km/h (55 mph). Mad Dog arrived in 16th position, very close to the five cars in front that were only about one hour ahead on the road.

If it hadn't been for the accident on Monday, we might well have arrived before them.

Mad Dog travelled right across Australia at an average speed of 66 km/h (41 mph).

"We are delighted to have made it once again," commented lead pilot Nigel Burgess. "Not only have we finished the race against significant setbacks, but we have also broken all the records we had ever set. We finished one and a half days quicker than last time and that's a huge improvement."

Through the race we averaged well over 60 km/h , which for solar car racing is considered to be a really important threshold

Mike Duke, Team leader
"Through the race we averaged well over 60 km/h (37 mph), which for solar car racing is considered to be a really important threshold," commented team leader Mike Duke. "In addition, I am quite sure that no other team has had to overcome a problem like our crash.

"This was a great experience for the students from the Fachhochschule Bochum (the German engineering students make up the guts of the team)," Mike continued. "Opportunities like these are very rare, enabling them to develop skills in engineering, project management and team building. And they really rose to the challenge the night after the crash."

Mad Dog, South Bank University
Mad Dog had to overcome bad weather and a crash
"When you do something like this, you are in intimate contact with people all the time," agreed Nigel Burgess. "It is a real test of your resolve to focus on doing your job, whatever's going on."

The current car is the third-generation of Mad Dog vehicles. Mike Duke said the team planned to return in 2003 with another vehicle that was slicker and faster.

The team is now going to relax in Adelaide and cheer in the remaining cars, which will be arriving over the next few days. The prize-giving reception will be held on Tuesday, and the team hopes it will walk away with some award.

A big pat on the head for the Mad Dog.

Martine Follain is a communications officer with South Bank University's Mad Dog team.

See also:

21 Nov 01 | Sci/Tech
Dutch win solar car race
19 Nov 01 | Sci/Tech
Dog's disastrous day
25 Aug 99 | Sci/Tech
Mad dog heads for the Sun
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