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Posted on 06-10-2017
After a detailed scrutineering, the solar car equivalent of the MOT test, dust is finally settlingfor the Nuon Solar Team. Nuna9 has received the vignette which officially allows them to drive on the Australian roads.
Nerves, resulting from the last intense couple of days, were still observable this morning. After the troubling delay of delivery of their battery a new challenge had presented itself. Restorative works to the cockpit’s window had rather worsened the vision. This forced the team to work all Sunday night and replace the window.
At the scrutineering, all technical elements of the solar cars are checked by the organisation of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. The goal is to check whether the car complies with the regulations of the race and whether it’s able drive safely on the public roads. The cars pass several tables in a carousel where – amongst others – they are weighted, their battery is tested and their lighting is checked. Our race drivers are tested as well! They must demonstrate how fast they can leave the car in case of emergency. As well as, their ability to lift the solar panel single-handed for the static loading – during the control stop.
Measuring Nuna’s weight is always an important part of the scrutineering. A lighter car is able to drive faster. Our drivers’ weight, however, is always complemented to 80 kg. This is done with a ballast bag filled with led grains.
“Our car is the lightest of the competition. When taking in consideration all equipment (i.e. including the organisation’s GPS-tracker) Nuna9’s weight is only 141 kilograms”, says Sander Koot, team manager of the Nuon Solar Team. “That is great news, because every unneeded kilogram implies loss of time. Our race drivers are quite light weighted. All three ladies must bring along a large ballast bag of stones; that is extra luggage in an already very tight cockpit.”
“This day provides us with essential strategic information, like the secret design specifications of our competitors’ solar cars. We’ve already seen some pictures and we’ve run into some teams during testing. Today, however, we’re actually able to look underneath the ‘car hoods’ and assess the positions and strengths of the other teams”, explains technical manager, Steven de Rooij.
The next step is the race qualification, this Saturday, which will dictate the starting positions. Thereafter, the Nuon Solar Team will be ready to race.