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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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Blog 24th October: qualifying

The day starts at the track.

Today is track testing: each car must run a timed lap; then pass a steering test and a braking test, both at 35 km/h.

Peter Schloite runs a meeting for captains and drivers in which he explains how the whole day will work: cars will go out in pairs onto the track: either a pair of fast cars, or a pair of slow cars. Then we adjourn back to our respective pits.

I fire up the telemetry system. It (flip a coin...) works.

John lets Peter know that our car is ready to go. Since Peter can't find any other cars that are ready to go, he sends our car out first, by itself. We do our timed lap, and post 3'14". Then our car pulls into the drag strip to do the steering and braking tests. The only thing we do wrong is that we do them at faster than the mandated 35 km/h. But it's still a pass.

We are qualified. No other cars are yet qualified.

For a few minutes, we are winning the World Solar Challenge.

Then Nuna and Aurora go out on the track, and also qualify, beating our lap time by a large margin. Aurora post 1'53", with Nuna about a second behind them. (For comparison, V8 supercars do this track in about 1'09".)

Willetton's Sungroper qualifies 0.68 seconds faster than us.

I download 200 megabytes of stuff that John Treen has suggested will help with the telemetry. I also field some phone calls from my boss, who is a few hundred kilometres away in the Timor Sea, setting up some equipment on a floating oil production and storage facility.

We go to the briefing meeting at the showgrounds, where we meet our observer for tomorrow morning. Then we return to the pits, clean the array, pack the contents of the pit (including the car) into trailers and vehicles, and retire to the accommodation.

Tomorrow we begin the World Solar Challenge.

-- Doug Burbidge http://dougburbidge.com/

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