Day 4 of FSGP is the first day of circuit racing at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). The race format is as follows: over the span of 3 days, the team with the most number of laps completed is deemed to be the winner of the race.
Teams are given a full charge on Day 1 and have to rely purely on solar energy for subsequent charging of the packs over the next 3 days. At the end of Day 1 after 8 hours of racing(10am to 6pm), Zephyr completed 72 laps with a total distance of 244.8 miles traveled. This stellar result places us at 2nd position, only 1 lap behind the race leader at the end of Day 1.
Throughout the day, there were certain strategic decisions to be made. These decisions included when to speed up/slow down and the timing of the pit stops. Rotating all 3 drivers, CalSol did a total of 3 smooth pit stops. Here is a POV of one of the pit crew members during a pit stop:
Ever wonder what it's like to be part of the pit crew for Zephyr at #FSGP2017? Here's a video of a tire change and driver swap we did this afternoon. Race hours for today are done, and Zephyr held at first place for most of the day. Check live race updates here: https://racehero.io/…/formula-sun-grand-prix-2017-2017-circ…. Go Bears! (Make sure to hit the HD button)
Posted by CalSol – UC Berkeley Solar Vehicle Team on Thursday, July 6, 2017
Before entering the circuit again for another day of racing, the teams are given 4 precious hours for statically charging the solar array: 6pm – 8pm on the day itself and 8am – 10am the next morning. These crucial hours act as valuable time to maintain a good battery charge for the next segment of the race.
Going into Day 5, the team is definitely pressured to keep up these results but we’re hoping to perform as well if not better!