Alice and the team have arrived safe and sound in Detroit! We’ve spent most of today fixing some small portions of the car and getting ready for technical inspection, which we need to complete before we are allowed to drive on the track. Meanwhile, our electrical team is making backup boards and debugging remaining issues with the system.
As the days get longer and the weather continues to really shine, most university students are spending their time travelling to far-off destinations and local offices alike looking for some summer experiences! Likewise, many EcoCar graduates have now taken off into the world, but then…
But then there are us.
(More Photos at bottom)
I was once again powerless. I pulled over to the side of the track and put my hazards on (yes, we have those). In a flash, the safety crew surrounded me and hoisted me to the towing vehicle. Once the track was clear, I was given a tour of the track behind a safety car. It was not my proudest moment, but rather one of deep reflection. What prevented our success? What had led to all of our problems? Were they avoidable? What should we do differently next time?
We didn’t win this year. In fact, no one in our category did. Was it challenging? Yes. Was it brutally exhausting? Yes. Was it a failure? I would say no. The thing is (and I’m not trying to justify our lack of results), every one of our team members at competition, as well as many back home in Edmonton, poured their heart and souls into this project.
We came, we fixed, and we passed tech inspection. Now to the real race (just kidding – we’re in an efficiency competition)…
It was an early morning for our team as members made a supply trip to Home Depot. By what was “7 PM” (noon in normal people time), our axle was fixed and we were ready for round 2 of inspection. We had a few minor problems, but as the saying goes, “third time’s the charm.” In round 3, we welcomed the addition of safety stickers to our growing collection and were finally ready for the track.
“Let’s just go to tech inspection and figure out everything wrong with our car.” -EcoCar
Today was the day of our technical inspection – the critical step that gives us our safety verification and allows us onto the track. Incidentally, high winds caused a track closure that lasted all day, but this didn’t bother us. For hydrogen teams, tech inspection often ends up being the main event, largely due to the rigorous leak testing we go through.