Saturday, October 17, 2015

WSC 2015: 17 October 2015 - Dynamic Scrutineering

Today was Dynamic Inspection out at Hidden Valley. The way this works is teams are released onto the track, one-by-one. Each team takes one warm-up laps, and then does what WSC calls a "flying lap" - as fast as the car is capable of (or as fast as the team feels safe attempting). The starting grid for WSC is ordered by the lap times, and passing teams out on the road out of Darwin takes time, so performing well on the flying lap is very important. 

Teams were actually released onto the track two at a time - the second one released when the first was about half a lap ahead. It worked for the most part, but on a few occasions the two teams were too wildly mismatched in speed and ended up a little close to each other... 

After the laps, teams were directed through a U-turn, a chicane, and a braking performance test.

ScientificGems posted a visual summary of the qualifying times. Arrow was indeed able to beat their 2:00.something time from two years ago (by about 6 seconds!), but Eindhoven edged them out for the fastest overall. I think Arrow still gets pole position however; I believe all of the Cruiser cars will get queued up behind the Challenger class cars.

A bunch of people expressed surprise at how well Solaris, KIT, and Goko did on the flying lap - those folks must not have been paying attention; these teams' cars are designed for track racing.

Four teams did not post a lap time: Siam Tech, RVCE, Sunswift, and Durham. RVCE had major issues with their battery pack - it sounds like a some cells are damaged and venting gas, so they were not able to make it out onto the track today. I think they've resigned themselves to the fact that the car will not be competing. Siam Tech and Durham both had unspecified electrical gremlins - Siam Tech made it out to Turn 1 on their one and only attempt before the car stopped. Durham made it out past turn 4 (veeerrry slowly) on their first attempt, and barely made it out of pit lane on their second. Sunswift had some more dramatic issues. They blew their front right tire on the final turn of their hot lap, ending up off the track. They may have done some damage to the brakes on that wheel, and never made it back on the track to complete dynamic scrutineering. I think WSC is going to let them compete, however.

I'm kind of fried after the past few days, so onto some photos with minimal commentary:

Closeups of Goko's front suspension

Goko's rear suspension 

The rear suspension on Megalux. Beautiful.

TAFE SA lining up in the morning as the first team to attempt dynamic scrutineering 

IVY's front left suspension collapsed in the braking performance test. They made repairs and succeeded later in the day. 

Interesting design note here: I hadn't noticed it before, but Adelaide's fairings are asymmetric. Look at the lateral location of the trailing edge of each fairing with respect to the tail lights. It appears they have cambered both of their airfoils in the same direction, presumable to attempt drag reduction in crosswinds from one side of the car.

IVE on the trailer back to the pits.

Nagoya's very serious driver helmet.
WSU laying down a fast time in the morning.

Suspension parts in IVE's pit. They got the car back onto all four wheels very quickly. 

Principia congratulating their driver after clocking a 2:06 lap.

Minnesota completing their flying lap. I didn't see it myself, but multiple people have told me their car got up on two wheels around the final turn.

Beijing ran off the track on their first attempt, and showed up for their second attempt without the fairings on the left side of the car. They had the fairings repaired and re-installed by the end of the day.

Solaris putting down a very fast lap.

Tehran drifting through turn 5 - DAT BODY ROLL!  
Fast and Furious 8: Iranian Drift
Eindhoven putting down the fastest lap of the entire day

UNSW coming back to the pits after blowing the front right tire on the final turn of their hot lap. After damaging one of their carbon wheels a few days ago, the team switched to aluminum wheels up front. It sounds like after the tire blew, the wheel bent when it hit the track, and damaged the brake rotor or caliper (or both). 

The guys flying this DJI Inspire around seemed like pros. The folks flying the Phantom around, on the other hand, need to ground themselves until they take a basic safety course. They were flying low over people and solar cars on pit lane, which would be bad practice even for a professional camera rig.
Arrow making a 1:54 lap time look easy.

WSU having a team huddle
Time for teams to line up for the team photo!

Sleep time now, see you tomorrow...


  1. Your tweets and the WSC live stream were a good combination to follow the qualification until it became really too late for me to stay awake.
    I know many people say the starting order isn't that important on such a long race, but with teams in the Challenger class potentially being quite close it is nice to be able to get out early and not stuck in the Darwin traffic with all these solar convoys.
    So I think Michigan, Punch, Tokai and Twente did very well and in my opinion Nuon and Stanford took it too easy. For Nuon to be 9 SECONDS behind Tokai now, could mean more than 15 MINUTES of catching up to do tomorrow and the days after. I understand that keeping the car in one piece is priority 1, 2 and 3 but I believe they could have done more without too much risk, looking at what their competitors were able to pull off. We'll find out tomorrow if they prove me wrong.

    Great job by Eindhoven again in the Cruiser class in their amazing race bus! I had expected Kokaguin and Persian Gazelle to do better. Bochum have definitely made their point that they are there to fight in the frontline.

    Exciting developments as always in this race. I am sorry for the less fortunate teams, hope they can get their cars in tip top shape again for tomorrow and that RVCE will manage to somehow get a working and safe battery to at least get 1 or 2 days of actual Stuart Highway experience.

    Sleep well MD, we are counting on you again tomorrow .;) !!!

  2. Just a quick thank you for the story and photo's. Great job.

  3. does anybody know if twente got a penalty for the signage area?