What have we seen so far?
Our boys have already been in Darwin for 5 days. The first days were harsh, since they had to deal with jet lag and they had to adapt to the new environment. Fortunately, it did not take them too long to overcome these initial inconveniences and at this moment they have a lot of energy to explore and to learn new things!
Only a day after arrival, Danny and Ray rented a camper van in Darwin. This van is more than a mean of transportation! It attracts attention everywhere, wherever Danny and Ray drive, it just makes people smile. Even though it seems like a rusty ride, it will for sure provide a fun and necessary transportation for our boys through the outback of Australia.
The preparations for the race are culminating this week. Danny and Ray decided to take advantage of the available time during these preparations for the race and they settled at The Hidden Valley Tourist Park, where most teams are accommodated. Here they are observing a lot of small details that will help us in our adventure of building a solar car. They have already spoke with other teams about their feelings and expectations. Moreover, they went to the paddocks, where they could see the final adjustments on the multiple solar cars. Many teams have also tested their car in the Cox Peninsula Road, near Darwin, so our guys drove over there in order to spot other teams. They did not have to wait too long! – our compatriots, team Twente and team Eindhoven, appeared just right in front of the van!
When driving to the Cox Peninsula Road, the boys also noticed interesting facts about climate and nature. Climate in Darwin is hot and humid, even though spring in Australia has just started. This weather will change along the race (3000 km long race!) and we will have this into account when designing the solar powered car. On the way back to Darwin, our brave explorers found a big termite nest – a great moment to take a picture!
The third day started at the paddocks, where the guys saw a test drive in the pit lane. Some teams were really pushing hard on the pit lane and they basically reached the maximum allowed speed! Danny and Ray talked to the Eindhoven team and the Swedish JU solar team, and they gave them tips and warnings about technical issues which might occur during the design, construction and tests of the solar car.
Finally, yesterday, the first scrutineering took place. Danny and Ray managed to get in and they were able to check out the details of other cars. Also, scrutineering is a good place for observation – noticing the difficulties that other teams are facing will help us to be well prepared for our challenge in 2019!
Stay tuned! The interview with ITU solar team is coming soon!