Blog 5: Hot lap day!

You may wonder what a hot lap is and if it has anything to do with temperature on the track? That could have been the case, my shoes were literally sticking to the melting tarmac!
But no, the hot lap is the time trial each car has to do in order to determine your starting position tomorrow morning as I explained before. So it was again early morning at Hidden Valley race track so that all 41 cars would be finished at around 13h.

You could just feel the tension in the air as all teams want to set a good time because the first 250km to Katherine is a windy road so no easy overtaking. The less overtaking is needed, the better (and safer) it is of course! Each time was waiting anxiously for their car to swoop past at an incredible speed but hardly making any sound (that is great). The noise was made by the teams who were banging on the siding of the track near the finish line to encourage their driver to go even faster.
An announcer was adding to the excitement with heated comments and intermittent timings.

The most hyped time trial definitely was the TopDutch one, the team from Groningen set a record time of 1.51.99 where most teams are setting times over 2 minutes. This is the fastest time ever set at the World Solar Challenge (which started in 1982).
Congratulations to this new team!

Check all results. Stella Era set the expected time of 2.28.78 with 4 passengers, resulting in the 20th position, which may not sound ideal but the team was pretty chuffed!

Mia was so kind to get Tommo’s (meat) pies from a local shop, we turned out to be a very regular customer and we both soon knew why since they were great!

Meanwhile still some last preparations had to happen, more packing, food shopping, getting the printed safety vests, our super truck arrived at the track to clear out the tech tent in which Stella Era has been living for the past few days, a team briefing and a media briefing at the Darwin Convention Center, getting as much uploaded as possible and getting ready for the 3000km to Adelaide with very little to no internet connection..

This means that my next blogs may not be as regular and will be posted in a PDF as that is lots quicker.

This evening we all went out for a burger before heading home to pack our own bags and get some shuteye, we have to get up early tomorrow to be ready for the challenge to start. May the best team win!