Day 3 – Sofie Races!!

What a day!

Since we cleared Tech Inspection yesterday, today was our day to get as many runs in as possible. The first run started at 8:30am, so at 8am we were lined up and waiting for our turn to get onto the track. While we were in the line we did some very quick conditioning on the fuel cell so that Sofie would be more efficient. During some adjustments, a screw fell on a board and short-circuited, meaning that we had to try and fix it before we could actually get on the track. We ran out of time to get a run in before 11am, when the UrbanConcepts started racing. The next Prototype session was at 1:30pm, so we pulled Sofie back to the paddock and started work fixing the board.

At 12:30pm we were ready to line up again!  It was another blazing hot day at the Raceway, and to try and keep everyone (including Sofie) cool we bought an umbrella as shade.

Eventually we were at the start line and ready to go. The team watched from the sidelines with bated breath as Sofie began her first run. Unfortunately, we were quickly disappointed when Sofie came to a halt within 500 ft of the start line. As soon as Sofie was pulled off the track and returned to us, we began work trying to find the problem. We lined up again and after some quick adjustments, Sofie was back on the starting line. This time after one and a half laps, Sofie yet again came to a halt. Again we tried to find the issue, which seemed to originate from using the horn. Eventually we had to pull Sofie back to the paddock for some more intense work. At 3:45pm, right before the 4pm end time for the Prototype runs, we were back in line and ready to race. This time Sofie did all 7 laps with no hitches!! However, we were 14 seconds over the 25 minute time limit for the 7 laps, meaning the run did not qualify. We were disappointed but confident that we could get a run in tomorrow, the last day of the Eco-marathon.

At 12pm we went to Tech Inspection and passed Mechanical Systems thanks to some great work done the night before. However, we still had quite a bit of work to do with the Electrical systems before we could pass. The team was working like crazy to be ready, especially since Tech Inspection was going to permanently close at 4pm, meaning we had to get through today or we wouldn’t be able to race.  We went back to the paddock and at 3:30pm we went back and passed Hydrogen (again, first try!!!) and Telemetry. Luckily it seemed like most teams were not ready for Tech Inspection to close at 4pm, so miraculously it stayed open for another 2 HOURS during which we passed Horn and got our windshield wipers to work!

We now had 11/12 of the stations completed, but we hadn’t passed Electrical because our headlights were not working. We thought for sure we weren’t going to make it further, but thanks to the amazing team at the Electrical Systems station, we were granted an extension until the following morning at 8:30am!! Wish us luck tomorrow in getting good runs in for both cars!

Side story: it has been a crazy couple of days, but all the teams find ways to relax and have some fun. A bunch of teams got together and played some soccer for a couple of hours

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