The Choctaw Central High School Solar Car Team left last  Friday for Darwin, Australia, to compete in the Bridgestone World Solar Car Challenge. Team members are, front row, from left, Jada Sockey, Jose Cruze, Brandon Lewis, Niko Issac, Robin Routh, Kalen Gibson, Ozzie Willis and Liddia Hughes, sponsor. In back are Dave Sanders, sponsor, Hilowah Davis, Justin Tubby, Robert York and Coby York.
The Choctaw Central High School Solar Car Team left last Friday for Darwin, Australia, to compete in the Bridgestone World Solar Car Challenge. Team members are, front row, from left, Jada Sockey, Jose Cruze, Brandon Lewis, Niko Issac, Robin Routh, Kalen Gibson, Ozzie Willis and Liddia Hughes, sponsor. In back are Dave Sanders, sponsor, Hilowah Davis, Justin Tubby, Robert York and Coby York.
Racing in Australia has always been a dream for the Choctaw Central High School Solar Car Team and now it's finally happened.

The team left last week for Darwin, Australia, to compete in the Bridgestone World Solar Car Challenge.

Once there they will race 3,000 kilometers (or 1,864.11 miles) down the King's Highway south to Adelaide, Australia. They will compete in the GoPro Adventure Class.

"We feel like we will do well," said Dave Sanders, one of the team's sponsors. "If we complete the race, we'll be to only high school team to do it. It's a big deal for us to simply go."

Team members have been raising money for more than two years to make the trip.

It's costs a lot for us to go and we've had to fundraise for everything, Sanders said.

They will be driving the six-year-old Tushka Hashi car, "Sun Warrior" in the Choctaw language.

"It has been the best car we've had," Sanders said.

To prepare for the race the car has been slightly upgraded with a new battery management system and safety features including roll bars and better structural integrity.

During the race, the car can reach speeds between 45-50 miles per hour.

The 11-member team consists of a mix of new and old members.

Team members include: Jose Cruze, Brandon Lewis, Niko Issac, Robin Routh, Kalen Gibson, Jada Sockey, Justin Tubby, Ozzie Willis, Robert York, Hilowah Davis and Coby York.

Cruze, Lewis and Sockey are the only drivers. The rest act as maintenance and support.

"They're very excited about the trip," Sanders said. "For most this will be their first international trip."

They are the only Native American team to compete in the competition.

The team won the Winston Solar Car Challenge, a national race, in 2010 and again in 2012, which made them eligible to compete in the Bridgestone challenge.

Anyone interested in keeping up with the teams progression, visit www.worldsolarchallenge.org.