We made it!
The team has finally made it into the Texas Motor Speedway garage!
This day marks the start of the 3-day process known as scrutineering. During scrutineering, the 22 teams who are competing in this year’s race submit their vehicle for inspection and rigorous evaluation by judges. These judges have the responsibility to ensure that each component of each vehicle meets all specifications to be race-ready by Sunday morning.
Above: Opal Heltzel (11) and Eric Nguyen (10) check top panel to ensure it is sitting securely
The atmosphere throughout this process was intense but welcoming; the stakes were high but the mood comfortable, giving teams the opportunity to learn and share ideas between one other.
The first station we visited this morning was the general/mechanical station. After about 90 minutes of presenting our car to judges for mechanical inspection, the judges identified a handful of minor issues that needed our attention prior us from passing the station: the height and placement of the seatbelts was a fraction of an inch too low, and the mounting bolts on suspension components were a thread too short. While these obstacles were an inconvenience to the team, we appreciate the judges’ diligence, attention, and emphasis on safety and race preparedness. After fixing these issues, the judges sent us to the next stations.
Above: Three amigos [Hai Lin Truman (11), Lucien Freemesser (11), Zach Olsson (10)] contort themselves to give the last couple of bolts another turn.
In subsequent stations, the team completed the rest of the stations with flying colors. Some highlights include:
- Slalom: Done! So fast, so smooth!
- Endurance lap 1: cruise control @ pedal voltage 1.1 V (corresponds to a speed of ~23 kph)
- Endurance lap 2: cruise control @ pedal voltage 2.5 V (corresponds to a speed of ~56 kph)
- Endurance lap 3: practice vehicle recovery
Above: track view of Jimmy as it is taken off track by the trailer at the conclusion of station 6: endurance and retrieval
One of our moments of pride was a compliment from chief judge Chris Jones who acknowledged the team passing scrutineering with no additional change orders. We are even prouder that each person on the team stepped up, stepped in, and took good care of the car, themselves, and the team. As the team says, “In whom do we trust?” “IN JIMMY WE TRUST!”
Since we passed scrutineering on Day 1, Scrutineering Days 2 & 3 will be used for practicing driver changes, testing solar panel output in the Texas sun, meeting other teams, making friends, and helping others where we can.