First, I would like to preface today's entry with a tale from last night, the eve of the race. After last night's banquet (and blog post, for that matter), the electrical team was doing some last-minute tune-ups on the car. Unfortunately, by 11:00PM, the trackers had broken themselves beyond repair for reasons we are yet unable to explain.
In a series of events that was nothing short of at least four consecutive miracles, we were able to secure an extra set of trackers from Principia and the equipment to configure them from Arizona State, and our amazing Electrical Team was able to get them working on the car in time to line up for the race start at 9AM. We are greatly indebted to both Principia and Arizona State for keeping us alive in this race.
We officially started racing at 9:01AM, in second position behind Michigan. Within 10 minutes, we were able to pass them by skillfully carrying our momentum through a series of stoplights, and eventually open up distance in the cloudy weather. With nothing but the open road ahead of us, we were first to arrive at the first checkpoint in McAlester, OK at 12:24PM, about 15 minutes ahead of Michigan.
As we pulled out of McAlester, the clouds finally parted, allowing us to run fast and charge our battery at the same time. Unfortunately, as things always go with untested hardware, the power trackers had some integration issues with the rest of our car and we were unable to produce as much power as the array is capable of. We decided to press on and fix the problems at the Stage Stop in Neosho; however, due to the lack of power to charge our battery, our speed slowed to a crawl, leading to us eventually being passed by Michigan and Principia.
Overall, we are satisfied with our current race position. We are sitting nicely in 3rd place, and expect to arrive in the Neosho Stage Stop early tomorrow, leaving a manageable gap for us to make up between us and the leaders. There's still a long way to go to Calgary, and, as we found out in 2005, anything can happen between now and then!
Current Known Standings:
4. Missouri S & T (a.k.a. Rolla)