March 29, 2012
This is the last day of the drive down to Houston and we finally entered Texas. Coming south from Kansas, it took us all by surprise at how green the scenery was. Everything was green on the highway and we even got our fair share of thunder showers as we neared Houston.
Around 6:00PM we reached Houston and navigated the highway systems to get to the George R Brown Convention Centre where we would be competing. Parking behind the convention centre it took the remainder of the evening to carry the EcoCar and all of the equipment and tools from the trailer to our work station and booth in the convention centre. Several of the halls of the convention centre had been used for the event. In Hall B there was a ¼ mile test track set up for teams to trial their vehicles before participating in the actual race. Hall C had 115 work stations set up; one for each team. We were near the rear left corner in a row with all of the other teams running hydrogen vehicles. Over the course of the event we would get to know these teams really well. Then in part of Hall C and most of Hall D there was the technical inspection stations and slalom course. Each vehicle was required to go through all of the technical inspection stations and the slalom course before being allowed to partake in the races.
After setting up our booth we worked on some minor modifications of the vehicle and attached all of our sponsor logos so that the car would be ready for the media when the event would be kicked off the next morning. Sometime after midnight when all of the logos were ready we headed upstairs into another conference room that was converted into a large tent hall where many of teams were sleeping. In the morning the rest of the team that flew down from Edmonton would be arriving.
– Matthew Sponiar, Project Manager