The awards ceremony is Monday morning, which is a change from last year to give officials time to verify results and address any issues. It is held at the Penrose House. A very cool place with lots of history. Judging from the official timing results we have some awards to collect.
This morning we were expected on the Mountain at 2-3am, to let spectators come up after us. Understandable as far as logistics of the event go but it does put additional stress on the teams. The drivers’ meeting is at 7. We show up, and catch a 3-hour nap.
Things are blending together at this point but I think I remember the general timeline. Yesterday FedEx delivered the replacement seals for the valve block (after several attempts, tracking them down, trying to arrange to meet the driver and then him just showing up). When we realized the delivery time was uncertain we decided to work on the D1 in the garage. Our portable gantry lift came out of the trailer, got assembled and we tilted the car up on its side as usual.
We are working down the list of issues and sorting fueling on the D1 is very high on that list. Rodney has made several runs with virtually no power and still managed to post respectable times. This speaks to the capabilities of the driver and the chassis, but power is the missing ingredient. In order to get things sorted we needed a wideband O2 sensor and yesterday Morgan picked it up. Ray and Chris installed it and I finished up the wiring.
This morning the resin on the bodywork is cured except for one spot which we successfully ‘bump’ with a heatgun. We load up and head up the Mountain. Today is qualifying. The qualifying position determines run order and it’s important because weather tends to deteriorate during the day so the earlier you can run, the better the chances of favorable conditions. But most importantly we have to qualify in order to race. The D1 hasn’t run right yet and we have a bit of a dilemma – I can adjust the pressure sensor fake voltage so it will start and idle, but then it won’t rev over 5K. Adjusting to rev freely makes it nearly impossible to start and idle. Something to tinker with today.
We have to qualify tomorrow, being on the Mountain at 4 am. A flurry of activity has occurred in the last few hours. Composites supplies were acquired and the crew sprang into action. The garage was lined with plastic then the real fun began. The wing spar was straightened and the wing shell positioned on it.
If you have followed this blog you know we’ve had more than a fair share of challenges, obstacles and setbacks, and have worked hard to overcome them all. But just when we think we might actually be getting somewhere, life throws more at us.
Today is the optional test but it was not even a question – we’re running it. The D1 was completed Friday and has only done a few laps of a kart track. The D2 was having a variety of small issues which combined to undermine Jonathan’s confidence in the car. We had to get a better handle on it. So this morning the usual – up at 3am, on the Mountain at 4am, set up in the dark, run at first light.
Now that the D1 is running, time to get packing. We started as soon as I got back from the kart track. Pete has loaned us his truck and trailer for the D2 (countless thanks again!) so we actually have a way of getting there. We do a lot with what we have, but the limited resources mean we must rely on the support of our customers, investors and sponsors. We truly appreciate it.
It’s been an absolutely crazy couple of weeks. The challenges and minor setbacks have been too numerous to even think about, we’ve just been powering through them. The exact dates are a blur but below is the last few days’ worth of progress.