Today was the big day, for the first time in our team’s history, CalSol officially rayced in the World Solar Car Challenge. Once again, a huge thanks to all those who supported us: friends, family, and of course our sponsors. Without their support we certainly would not be here today. The team got an early start to the day (some of us more so than others, thanks Amando, Ankur, and Rafael for getting the trailer!), to bring Impulse safely to the Northern Territory Parliament House where the race started.
Thanks to an awesome hot lap by Martin yesterday at Hidden Valley, Impulse was positioned comfortably in 13th place (out of 37 teams). With all the teams and a couple hundred people all gathered in the same parking lot, we couldn’t resist letting out a few Cal Cheers just to let everyone know who they are dealing with. A few other teams tried to shout back in response, but their cries were pitiful compared to our mighty roars (Go Bears!). Before the race got underway, the Amarok(Trailer), CrewVan(Scout), and Golf(Recon) headed up the road to our pre-scouted media stops on the outskirts of Darwin to take videos and pictures.
With the rising run, Impulse took to the road eager to get her wheels dirty on the (in)famous Stuart Highway. The roll out from Darwin went perfectly, but trouble soon arose (duh duh duhnnn)! Telemetry noticed that the array was failing to charge the batteries. The caravan pushed on though as Chase believed the problem could be fixed on the fly. Unfortunately this was not the case and Impulse was forced to pull over 45km out of Darwin. The problem was quickly isolated to the power trackers connectors but with the clock ticking the team was unsure if we could make it to Katherine, the check point of the day, before the time limit was reached. While many teams around us pulled off to trailer up, we decided to push forward reasoning that we would lose more time by loading, trailering, and then unloading Impulse in Katherine then by driving to it (plus trailering is lame!).
Impulse has made it to Katherine 30 min past the time check, but on her own two wheels, which is something to be proud of. We will stop here for 30 min and then head out of town.
Wish us luck,