Information on this blog is raw and sometimes unverified reporting straight from the road by teams. The event will issue a media release for any events requiring an official notification.

Note that links in blog entries are not maintained, so while a link may be verified to work on the day of publishing, this is not guaranteed beyond that day.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Leeming SHS: Day 5 and 6 Student Blog

Day 5. This morning's wake up call was for Tom and Andrew being selected by Mr Morgan to change the rear tire of the land cruiser troop carrier that had subsequently gone flat over night. After changing the tire, we headed off to Hidden Valley raceway and we dropped in the flat tire at a tire repair place. At Hidden Valley, Trent, Rhys and Chris Treen spent the morning wiring up the 2 way radio system and Engel fridges for the bus. Meanwhile, Doug perfected the car by finalising the battery management system and he also assisted John Treen in the installation of the telemetry system.

While we were down at Hidden Valley, the girls got to know the French team and became quite good friends, while Flegg started talking to a girl from Michigan, who then became known as Flegg's lady friend. We left the track early, at about 2 o clock, for a late lunch. Meanwhile, rumours of Willetton of being in town were circling.

After an afternoon of washing, playing pool and swimming, we left the Alatai Holiday apartments at approximately 5:30, to go to parliament house for the official launching ceremony of the 2007 Panasonic World Solar Challenge. We all piled in the bus and went on our way, only to realise that Mr Beattie had forgotten to bring the invitations. When we got there, however, we learnt that we did not need them. On the other hand, we also learnt that there were only 8 people who were allowed to go in to represent the team as there are 38 teams in this years challenge. There was no way possible to accommodate everyone from every team.

The event at parliament house was rather slow and uneventful; however, our team members did get to meet the Willetton senior high school students. The evening concluded with a good chat around the laptop in room 203, with almost everyone crammed into the tiny apartment.

A day closer to launch day on Sunday, excitement is increasing around the apartments from both teachers and students… But then again, so is stress and nervousness.

Written by Curtis Brand (Year 11).

Special thanks to all the students on the Leeming Solar Car team, from year 10 – 12, for contributing.

Day Six Sat 20th

At 6:30am, the year 12's, Chris Treen and Flegg prepared to leave for Hidden Valley race course at exactly 7:15am.They failed to reach the deadline, and at 7:16am, Mr Beattie burst into their room, yelling and screaming and making threats about not being able to drive qualifying laps. They then proceeded to leave at 7:19am, while Trent forgot his World Solar Challenge official tag, sending Beattie into a fit of rage. They returned to the Alatai Apartments to get Trent's tag, and subsequently obtained a half dressed Tom.

After a very solemn drive, they arrived at Hidden Valley at 7:33am, only to find out that the 7:30 driver's and manager's meeting had been moved to 8:00. Here's a word from Trent who will now talk about the qualifying laps:

Trent: "After a long and nerve wracking wait, we were going for our qualifying lap at about 12. We were required to drive two laps of the track. One consisting of a warm up lap and the other consisting of a timed lap."

We then had to perform a steering and braking test, which consisted of driving through an alignment of cones in a zigzag formation and then accelerating to about 40km/h, where we then had to slam on our brakes and stop within a given distance.

Considering the fact that our car is designed for the straight line race between Darwin and Adelaide, we did extremely well on the circuit that consisted of many tight and tricky corners, and qualified 30th out of 38 cars."

The rest of the team had the luxury of a sleep in, reaching almost as late as 7:30. We then all headed out to the track to watch the boys get ready for the time trials. We also had the privilege of seeing all the other teams on their time trial laps and learning what a significant and colossal event this is.

Strangely, almost everyone became hungry at once and a consensus was reached. It was time to eat. A few of the girls headed to the shops to get the stuff for lunch while the rest of the team cleaned up the pit bay and made it look a lot more respectable for the officials of Hidden Valley. We then all got stuck into home-made rolls from the comfort of the Year 10's room, while they thoroughly enjoyed cleaning up the mess afterwards that everyone made.

We're all very much looking forward to starting the Panasonic World Solar Challenge, which is a very momentous occasion for a lot of people on the team, who are yet to compete in something so major. We're all hoping to get a bit of sleep tonight, as 4 people have to wake up about 4:30 in the morning to go down and help with the solar car, to get it ready for launch, outside of Darwin Parliament house.

P.S: Mr Beattie has been telling us for the last three days to add the score for the pool games; Students versus teachers. It's a little embarrassing for the students, but let's just say Mr Morgan and Mr Beattie beat us by quite a bit without glasses.

Wish us luck.

Written by Curtis Brand (Year 11) and Laura Pillsworth (Year 10)
Special thanks to Trent Rule (Year 12) for the quote on qualifying and the story.