Almost race ready
TRANSFORMING INTO A RACE TEAM
Saturday, two weeks before the race: this day was marked in our calendars as the infamous tinkerstop. This big deadline ensured that the team would stop adding extra modifications to the BluePoint and that the car would be completely race ready. After this deadline, we would only focus on maintenance, preparing the race and the technical scrutineering. All procedures are practiced, the evening protocol is prepared and the rules are read for a final time. This way, not only the car but also the team will be race ready.
Only when the car is in race condition, the strategic tests can be performed. The car will drive on the public roads and the power consumption will be measured and analysed.
The car is packed up to depart to Gunn Point Road, our testing location. Contrary to previous weeks, we are no longer testing on closed off roads and tracks: the tests take place on the open road, where many other cars and solar cars drive around at the same time.
From time to time, the car has to stop on the side of the road for technical checks or to practice fixing a flat tire. By checking the car frequently, we ensure the car's safety. During the race, these checks are only done in the evening and the morning to save time.
Reinforcements for the team
As we make the switch to a race team, the group grows bigger and bigger. Many Solar Team alumni travel to Australia to support us and to reduce our workload. Their experience in previous races ensures us that we don't make the same mistakes as in the past. Even a team member from the very first Solar Team (over 15 years ago) will join the race to help with the strategic decisions made during the race.
Working together with alumni is one of the reasons why we form a strong race team!
Photo description from left to right, top to bottom:
1 During our testing day, the Australian sun cannot be underestimated: we apply sunscreen, drink a lot of water and stay out of the sun - as much as possible. 2 The tinkerstop was a big deadline for the team; once we met the deadline, we had to celebrate it by making a trip to the nature park nearby. 3 A couple days ago, the race organisation came to our workshop to approve the car for road testing. The official scrutineering permit for Stuart Highway, the road on which we will drive 3021 kilometers, will hopefully follow next week. 4 At Gunn Point Road, many different solar teams are driving the road at the same time. Appropriate signing indicates this on the road.