We began today by driving the remaining 7 miles in to the stage stop in Neosho, MO. As expected, we arrived at the stop in about 15 minutes, putting us in 3rd place behind Principia and Michigan. After impounding our battery at the stage stop, we immediately set to work on setting up the power trackers. As more teams rolled in, we got a better feel for how the remainder of the teams were doing. While electrical team was busy fixing things, the remainder of our team socialized and networked with other teams. We took up a pit spot next to Principia, and we immediately started helping each other with problems on the cars and comparing design philosophies. This is turning out to be a fun and very beneficial relationship for both sides.
Teams continued to roll in throughout the day, giving us a better idea of where everyone sits. Most notably, Iowa State rolled in at about 3:00PM, which ensures their position as a fully qualified team in the remainder of the race. As we continued to work on trackers, more and more teams became involved in the 'project.' I believe Principia, Iowa State, Calgary, and Arizona State all helped out in some way; even our top rival Michigan was getting in on the action in exchange for some updated firmware we acquired.
We were informed today that Iowa State made it to their stops in time, and thus will be allowed to compete in the race as a fully qualified team. Even though they have a lot of time to make up, we are confident that they will do very well in the long run. Our adopted new team, Oregon State, was unfortunately unable to complete the stages in the required time, but will be included in the race as a demonstration-class vehicle in order to gain experience for the next race; we look forward to seeing them and helping them as the race progresses further.
We got the trackers working enough to participate in the evening charge. Due to a new rule that dictates batteries must be impounded at stage stops, all of the batteries were released at exactly 6:00PM, leading to a stampede of no fewer than 40 students running across a parking lot carrying or rolling their 60-pound batteries. It was certainly a spectacle to behold, although officials claim it won't happen again due to the safety issues associated with Lithium Ion (a highly volatile material) being recklessly carried at high speeds.
Due to the low sunlight associated with late-day charging, we were unable to see exactly how our power trackers were performing. The electrical team says things are looking up, but we will have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to really make a determination.
Thank you to all of your support and comments, it's really uplifting to know that we have plenty of fans out there! We hope to see many of you in the coming days as we near Minnesota!