Tuesday, May 31, 2011

21st Century Automotive Challenge Report from Dan Monroe of EEVC

Oh my gosh I was so happy to get this behind-the-scenes report & pix of the EEVC team from Dan.
Yellow Geo Metro = Ken, Green ,VW Rabbit Truck = Al,  Narrator = Dan

I got to drive Ken’s car a few rounds in the autocross and half of the around town loops. Then I got to drive Alan’s truck for the first 30 laps of the range event. With both Al and Ken switching battery types it certainly was an odd weekend. The Rabbit came close to dominating the autocross (Al had to turn the Zilla down so he wouldn’t spin the tires whenever he hit the accelerator), but it only went 44 laps in the range event. The Metro is certainly much slower now (it really struggled up some of the hills around town), but came close to beating the Lorax in the range event. Ken drove 71 laps and Methacton drove 73.

In typical fashion Ken and I rushed to meet deadlines and keep things running all weekend. ^_^  When we got there (twenty minutes late) we immediately had to start making hold-down straps for the rear battery pack. Then the charger was acting up the first night. We thought we had it running around 11:00 pm so we left, only to find out the fuse blew out only giving us a partial charge. Just in time for a full day around town starting with a fourteen mile run to Wegmans and two twenty five loops around town. O_o  The highway guys got a chance to drive out to take a tour of a wind farm.

Ken got the charger working, but we figured out that it was too underpowered to really be of any use. With the new 6v, 215ah batteries it would take 20+ hours to get a full charge out of it!  Fortunately we were able to borrow Penn State’s Manzanita charger they use for the Berkeley. We were able to top up enough for the around town loops and get a full charge for the range event! 

Penn State let Ollie drive the Berkeley in the range event. Everyone told him that he looked great in the car and he admitted that it drove very well. So now we have to find a Berkeley, MG, Austin-Healey Sprite, or some other micro sports car that we can convert for him!

Ken, Alan, & Ollie on the track
. ^_^

I had a wonderful time up there this weekend.



Here is an easter egg of sorts that Dan buried at the very end of the photos he sent me, without comment,   PERHAPS TESTING TO SEE WHETHER I AM PAYING ATTENTION.  Ha, paying attention is one of the things I do best.  So naturally I have already followed up.  You will note this poor abandoned Vanagon is a Syncro (be still my heart) and additionally the exact same color that die Sprite used to be, before she was orange and electric.    It has a broken window and probably lots of things wrong inside it and nobody but me wants it I am sure, but just in case I am NOT going to disclose its location.  Stay tuned for further reports on potential rescue operations.  

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