Diego Lewis - July 5th, 2017
The first thing we did this morning was take a tour of the track. The race officials allowed us 3 laps in our van, which we did our best to take full advantage of. Equipped with the best technology, we attached a GoPro to the hood of the van and a Samsung 360 degree camera to the roof. Using cutting-edge adhesion methods, we proceeded to tape the tripod for that camera to the van. As unconventional as this may seem, it ultimately provided us with excellent footage of the track which helped our drivers determine the optimal race lines. Perhaps after the race we can share how we determine our optimal race lines…
After the track tour, we focused on final refinements to the car’s: motor controller, suspension, tires & alignment, and of course, pit stop drills. Having been afforded the luxury of a whole day for final prep, we made use of this time by repeatedly going through the motions, in real-time, of tire changes and driver swaps. The goal of this is to smooth out as many of the kinks as possible and reduce our down-time, as pit stops for solar cars are not quite as glamorous as for example NASCAR or F1 pit stops; it’s a notably more complicated process.
What is probably my favorite thing about the attitude we have going into the race tomorrow is the absolute lack of complacency. Though we seem to be doing rather well so far, pole position doesn’t usually win races, and we all know it. Not once have I spotted even the slightest indication of ‘satisfaction’ or otherwise complacency with where we are. Everyone is constantly working to improve on their area of specialization with the car, be it pit stops, mechanical & electrical optimizations, or race strategy. I think if we find any success come race time, it will be largely attributable to that fact.
One last thing I’d like to touch on is that the people around me are easily the smartest people I know. The sheer amount of technical knowledge and practical experience packed into my teammates’ brains is truly incredible. I cannot wait to see where we all are in 10 years, I can guarantee it will be an impressive array of careers and accomplishments. My time with the team has proven to me that there is little that can’t be accomplished when a group of dedicated and hardworking individuals puts their heads together.