Rally Day 3 - The Finish Line

The team was excited to cross the finish line today. We hoped to make progress during the day and move up in the standings. Though our hopes were high, we were still confident in stirring things up.

The morning started out with sleeping in by solar car standards. Our batteries were full at the end of day 2, so breakfast did not start until 7am. Our arrival and quick departure from the Chia-Yi Cultural Center was greeted by many and we set off on a mission. Yet again, we were the quickest through most of the transit segments today. The timed sections were a little daunting, however.

The first timed segment was a flat out drag strip. There were a few bends, but we believe we reached speeds of nearly 140 kph, and the overall victor, Ashiya Sky Ace TIGA, clocked in at 165 kph! (85 mph and 100 mph, respectively) These speeds seemed incredible to us all. The second and final timed stage of the day was not much different, only shorter than the first. At the very end of the last timed stage, we began to see some motor cutout issues again.

 Our first view of Dave and the car at the end of the first timed stage of the day. He was flying.

Our first view of Dave and the car at the end of the first timed stage of the day. He was flying.

 Crossing the finish line.

Crossing the finish line.

After finishing the timed stage, our only remaining adventure was traffic and the transit back to Kaohsiung. After a few brake concerns, Dave piloted Borealis III safely across the finish line to bring our racing adventure to a close.
Overall details from the race:
- Overall position: 4th
- Overall timed stage total: 28 minutes, 51.61 seconds
- Total penalty time, 0 minutes
- Starting Position day 1: 8th place
- Starting position day 2: 6th place
- Starting position day 3: 5th place

The faster teams seemed to have superior motor control, including variable gap adjustment. This will be more motivation to work on our uber-motor and develop it for future use, should we pursue an adventure like the World Solar Rally in the future.

 The team and the car.

The team and the car.

 Professor Hammer made a speech that had the whole room laughing.

Professor Hammer made a speech that had the whole room laughing.

The continual improvement after initial troubles says a lot for this team. Really, I could not be more happy with our performance given all that we encountered in Taiwan. The team has learned what to improve, what to change completely, and most importantly how to interact globally with other engineers solving the same problem we are.

Please stay tuned as we have our exhibition and packing day tomorrow and prepare to come home to the beauty of the Twin Cities. We also have a tourism day planned on the 22nd before flying out early in the morning of the 23rd. Expect to see breathtaking photos of the countryside. If you see anything you really like, make sure to request a high-resolution image from your favorite team mate.

We look forward to seeing all of our loved ones soon.
Go Fast, Go Safe, GO GOPHERS!

-Patrick O'Connor
Project Manager

September 20, 2006