After spending the previous day performing tests at the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s emergency landing airstrip, we set out this morning for Adelaide and the finish of our Mock Race. Our starting location was approximately 50 km north of Glendambo, leaving us around 670 km (418 mi) from the finish of timing outside Adelaide. We started at 8:00 AM with sunny skies at last–quite a relief after the weather of previous days.
Although we had only a small amount of energy left from the three cloudy days before, along with a threat of more clouds in the afternoon, we were able to cruise at over 90-95 km/hr (56-59 mph) in the morning. Thanks to the forecasts of our meteorologist, Chris McMeeking, we were able to track the clouds well ahead of Infinium. In the afternoon, when we were sure that we would not run into significant cloud cover, we started to cruise near the speed limit of 110 km/hr (69 mph). After three days of miserable weather, it was encouraging to be able to travel closer to race speeds.
We hit our control points in Glendambo and Port Augusta, and finished at the end of timing outside Adelaide with time to spare before the end of the race day. Best of all, we had perfect reliability on the car, with no time on the side of the road! Each of the divisions on our Race Crew truly deserves praise for their part in today’s success: Engineering, for ensuring the car was reliable enough to last through the grueling mock race; Strategy, for tracking such unpredictable weather and managing our batteries through the cloudy days; and Operations, for keeping our whole team going through five long days and four nights in the Outback’s ever-changing conditions.
With exactly three weeks until the Global Green Challenge starts, we have readied Infinium and ourselves for the trials of the Outback and will now turn our focus to the final details of our race preparations.
-Steve Hechtman, Race Manager