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.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Nuon: More Australian kilometers for Nuna

The Nuna4 ate up more Australian kilometers on its second test run on Sunday. As the driver half that day, it was particularly rewarding as Nuna4 has nearly approached its "race ready" state.

It was an extremely important day for Vincent, who got to test his cruise control system so essential for the race strategy. It turns out that everything worked perfectly as expected, but what startled everyone were the performance figures Nuna produced. It turns out our rented minivans cannot keep up with Nuna in passing maneuvers, a full 5 second head start was needed for "scout" (the van driving in front of Nuna) to accelerate in order to give Nuna the needed following distance. Acceleration from 80km/h to 120 km/h is incredible, and had it not been for the roll bar, would probably have given me whiplash. Jokes were made that we would probably be returning our rented cars with nitrous or turbo kits installed.

Tweede testrit 03

Driving with Nuna also posed some more problems for our more conventional vehicles. Following distances posed a slight problem when slowing down the convoy, with Nuna's rolling distance being extremely long (in part due to the high performance bearings provided by Schaeffler Group's INA FAG arm) the car's quickly gained distance. Convoy vehicles actually need to keep on the throttle when slowing down with Nuna.

The team has made themselves quite at home in Darwin. The convoy vehicles, particularly the "mission control" has undergone a complete interior "makeover" with computers, instrumentation, and battery packs crammed inside it. The team has become comfortably settled at Nightcliff Primary School, with the teachers inviting us to go out on the town with them, and the kids slowly playing more tricks on us (like quickly throwing their shoes into our office with accompanying giggles). Once we bring the car outside, however, the kids are fascinated and quickly come have a look. Even the local vendors have come to know some of us by name. It seems, like the locals here always say, up until now our motto can be summed up as..."no worries."

Tweede testrit 04