This Thursday there were not many events, apart from Stella having to drive an eight on the Hidden Valley track.
That doesn’t mean there is not much happening though! The whole Darwin office, work shop and all accommodations across town need to be cleaned, all trash has to be disposed and all tools carefully stored in the truck so it can easily be retrieved during the challenge.
Since this is not the first time the Solar Team is participating, there are many things they already have like foldable table and chairs, pots and pans, cutlery, plates, (head)lights, tents, stretchers and sleeping bags. All sleeping bags have been washed since they were in storage for 2 years so that makes sense!
When reading the morning and evening protocol it almost seems like a military operation is being planned. There are extensive schedules of who is doing what at what time, the time interval is 10 minutes. Everybody up at 6am, getting breakfast ready, pack the sleeping gear and tents, washing up while others get Stella Era ready by sunbathing here some more to fuel her battery.
Other things had to happen as well, like a proper haircut! A hairdresser came to the office to see to everyone’s hair, making sure they all look sharp for the challenge, through the outback..
Better to start all fresh I suppose.
Meanwhile some new safety vests were bought and brought to the print shop to put the logo on. All team members have to wear safety vests at all times unless they are more than five meters away from the road. We also bought some new Dutch flags from the local international flags store and luckily he was expecting the solar teams to come and buy there flags. The German and Swedish flags were still waiting to be picked up.
That is what is so nice here in Darwin, everybody knows the Solar Challenge and the teams. Wherever you go wearing your Solar Team Eindhoven shirt you get recognized, people wish you good luck, sometimes even ask for an update because they heard about our problems (who have been solved by the way) and sometimes you even get a new fridge for free, just because they like the team so much! Hurray for the wonderful people of Darwin who make us feel so welcome!
Must be quite weird to have about a 1000 students staying here for weeks on end, most of them from abroad, all focused on one thing, winning the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge by optimizing their car and its features.
On Sunday the highway is even closed to allow for the challenge to start with about 47 teams, each with their own convoy of support and safety cars. Luckily it starts at 8.30h although the temperature will already be around 29 degrees. The freshies will turn into salties quickly in these temperatures!
Tomorrow: Hot lap! Who will take pole position with the fastest time on the track? Two years ago Stella Vie was the fastest of them all (including Challenger Class cars!)