The race crew has returned to Adelaide after a long mock race and what an amazing experience it was. 2,009 kilometers of testing over 5 days on the Stuart Highway. It’s safe to say that we learned more in the past 5 days of testing than we have during any other time with Continuum. With 666 kilometers remaining on our planned mock race course, it’s ironic that our testing was cut short due to our encounter with what’s conventionally called a dust devil.
Though damage to Continuum was minor, our engineers did not want to risk making delicate repairs with such limited resources in the outback. Once repairs are completed later today, we’ll begin cleaning and tuning Continuum before additional testing early next week.
Since words can’t capture experiences in the outback, here are a few images from our testing last week:
(Above) The Stuart Highway is a very long, very flat, very straight road. Our mock race looked mostly like this for hundreds of kilometers at a time.
(Above) The road surface is VERY rough and unforgiving. We learned this the hard way in 2005.
(Above) These are two of the 6 vehicles we drove during mock race. The Holden Adventura LX8 on the left is our weather vehicle with the weather fixture lovingly called the “Thunder Box.” The Holden Rodeo on the right is our scout vehicle.
(Above) This Holden Captiva is our chase vehicle, bearing the all important “Caution: Solar Vehicle Ahead” sign required of all teams. This is the center of our support crew operation and is filled to the brim with computers, radios, and Wolverines.
(Above) The race passes through a series of 30-minute control stops along the race route. This is a picture of the race crew charging Continuum at the Glendambo control stop.
(Above) Continuum ready to hit the road at Port Augusta control stop.
(Above) Continuum being taped up at the Cadney Homestead control stop
(Above) We deploy our semi trailer evening morning and evening to help give everyone the resources they need to maintain and repair the car.
(Above) When he’s not busy predicting and creating the weather, Nate Lehman lends a hand wherever he can. Here he’s sewing wheel covers for Continuum. We saw roles blending more and more as the days of mock race progressed.
All race activities are spent on the open road and away from many of the creature comforts we’re all accustomed to. Long days of racing, long nights of work, no showers, and rocky ground will wear you thin after a week on the road.
(Above) Chris Hammond from the electrical division looked especially tired.
(Above) Jeff Ferman with the strategy division was strangely and consistently energetic.
(Above) Gerald Giarmo with the electrical division.
(Above) Sarah Napier with the electrical division. Keep in mind that it was 50 degrees F out in the morning.
(Above) Steve Hechtman from the micro electrical division is also one of our three drivers.
(Above) Brooke Bailey and Deanna O’Clair from our operations division cleaned dishes every morning. (Above) Kristine Cramer from our mechanical division.
(Above) Nate Lehman with our strategy division.
This was a great test run for the Continuum team. The next few weeks will be packed with repairs, practice, and improvements that will build off of the experience we gathered over the last week. We’ve already completed more pre-race test miles than any of the past three Michigan teams so we’re excited to hit the road in Darwin next month. Go Blue! Brian