It had been 3 days since we landed in Darwin on the 27th. These three days have been an amazing learning experience for the 9 of us team members. Here’s giving you a sneak peek into what we were up to:
On the day we arrived, 27th Sept, we first picked up our rental vehicles from Hertz. Vaibhav’s credit card was not activated yet. Thankfully, after a lot of discussion, the sweet lady at Hertz accepted upfront payment using the forex card/cash for while we use the car in Darwin. That was a relief, since the next credit card holding team member would only arrive on the 1st! (Varun). Another team parallely picked up lunch and groceries for everybody. We left to Hidden Valley at 11am, where our crate was waiting to be delivered. Thanks to Greg from Allports to have received the crate at the right time.
We were allotted Garage 3, beside the Western Sydney team. They were very friendly from the very first interaction itself, and it didn’t take us too long to become good friends! We quickly opened up the crate, and started unpacking it. To our content, all our equipment, batteries, the solar panels, were all in great shape, without any damages at all. We quickly set up our work space and neatly organized it.
We eagerly ate the MTR and Maiyya’s packets for lunch that we carried since we felt it would be “instant” so we can finish it and get to work soon.
We quickly started off with work, and tried to finish off with some easy tasks first. Sumit, Limbaji and Karthik (Fondly called GSK) started off with the battery assembly. Cherian and the other mech team started off with replacing the nuts and bolts., and then moved on to fixing the canopy. The vibes that other teams gave were that of dedication to the cause, hard work and friendliness. This affected each one of us and further motivated us to finish off the integration soon, so we could do the long awaited track testing.
The 2 days that followed went by in a jiffy! Everybody were very diligent in completing the work that they were responsible for. Our target was to complete the entire assembly by the 29th, so we do testing on the 30th, as soon as track testing opens at Hidden Valley.
Some of the issues we faced were the work timings. We had arrived on the midnight, and went to hidden valley late. This cycle continued, as the team wanted to finish more and more work before leaving Hidden Valley each night, hence ending up sleeping late. We slowly tried to put this on track, waking up half an hour earlier than the previous day. There was a lot of pressure on us to ready the car on time and test it, since we would have to get permission to book the race rental vehicles soon.
Since we had to have a trailer and a ute during the scrutineering, we were parallelly trying to get in touch with people who would be willing to do it for us for an affordable price. On 28th, we had Greg (not the earlier one) come over to check out our requirement. However we couldn’t close the deal, since he had other commitments during that time. On 29th, we met Chip, whom we got in touch via gumtree. Chip is a great person to talk to and is very interested to be part of this with us. We negotiated with him for a fair deal.
We had a lot of gracious visitors. First off, we had Praveen sir and Bala sir. They both reside in Darwin. We had gotten in touch with them on facebook, and they immediately came forward to help us out. We had Roslyn Jan come over, with whom we have had multiple discussions regarding race planning. We had Gurinder Singh come over, who again was a great source of motivation for us. We had Anuj Verma, ex team manager of Western Sydney, constantly helping us.
On 29th, we had Stephen Thomas join us. He is from the Bath University, Britain, and is the Composites Guru! Also, he is a great motivational figure and we were sure our team just got a great addition.
A lot of other team members were impressed by our car’s build.
Tomorrow, we will be joined by our beloved Team Manager, Varun