Suzuka Dream Cup 2010 - Day 2

How does one say 'bloody hot' in Japanese?

It was going to be a solid work day with track testing as well. Our two main tasks were to get the battery packs repaired with new modules brought from Melbourne and to have at least one battery pack ready to undertake two hours of track testing.

It turned out to be very hot and humid. Not so bad for solar car teams Aurora 101 and Nuna 5, but much more for the motorcycle racers in all of their confining leathers and helmets. These were amateur riding enthusiasts who came to have their time on the famous Suzuka Circuit. Families, wives, girlfriends, even babies were all part of it.

At 10.00 AM it was time to start Andris in for his first taste of the Suzuka track. Practice on a Sony PSP provided minimal preparation. His first five laps were at a steady lap time of 5 min 30 secs. Then it was another five laps at 4min 45secs. Getting faster. We were looking forward to the afternoon drive session.

The day passed with a list of fixes and preparations. Suspension height adjustments were needed to balance the car with the lighter batteries fitted. More work on the main battery pack balancing. Movement of the telemetry modem and antenna was required to achieve better reliability and a trial fitment of the spare motor.

We were ready for the last session of driving the full track. Out went Andris again with instructions to aim for 4 min 30 sec laps. Easy! Then faster still with times around 4 min 17 sec. In all, testing over the first two days in Suzuka yielded over 25 laps, or half the distance of a four hour heat to be raced on the weekend.

The Nuna 5 team did even more laps and conducted an initial practice pit stop. More of their team members arrived today, and they now number 18!

Tomorrow is another day for battery work, telemetry work, measurement of local solar radiance and analysis of Aurora 101's performance at different average lap speeds.