Sunday, Dec 30, 2007

Qualifying

09:25 AM

 

We would like to start the race with a good cushion of Spec Racer's between the Electric Imp and next SPU car. We set a target qualifying lap time of 1:44.5. This should put us 5th or 6th on the grid with at least 4 cars between us and the other SPU. Our race engineer, James Lee, does some calculations and decides a 450 amp (3/4 power) current will put us were we need to be.

 

We are waiting on pit lane as our qualifying session starts. The other cars head out onto the track. James stands on the pit wall and watches their progress. When they reach the chicane (turn 7), he signals me to go. This should bring me out in front of the other cars and give me a clear track for my first lap.

 

Two other cars are trying the same strategy. They pull onto the track just in front of me. They are being conservative in how quickly they get up to speed.

 

Qualifying an electric car is different from qualifying a gas car. It is easier mechanically on the gas car to warm it up slowly. This allows the fluids and metal to reach their best operating temperature. The performance of the motor will be fairly similar between the first lap and the fifth lap, so the driver can keep trying for that fast lap as long as the tires maintain their grip.

 

The Electric Imp best lap should be the first timed lap. The motors will produce the most horsepower at the highest voltage. Each lap will drop the voltage slightly. So I have no time to waste. I need to have the tires up to temperature. I need to feel how the car handles with the new power settings and minor suspension tweaks. I need to assess the track conditions.

 

I can't wait on these ICE's. I push my way down the inside into turn 2. The car slides on the cold tires. I feed on the power and go up onto the exit berm. The next corner turns the opposite direction and puts heat in the opposite tires. The car feels good. The extra power is a joy.

 

I take my normal line through the chicane.
The left side front tire falls into a hole.
The front of the car bangs into the ground. Dirt flies up.
There was a Enduro race last night. They seem to have dug out all the dirt where I normally put my left side tire. I will need to use a new line.

 
Starting a hot lap
 

Turn 9 is really the start of the qualifying lap. How well I do Turn 9 determines how fast I will be down the straight. I get on the throttle and drift the car out.
This will be a good lap.

 
On the exit of turn 2, I see loose tires on the track. I pull a little left to avoid them. I flash by a Spec Racer, off the track. Then I am braking for turn 3.
 

This accident will bring out a black flag requiring everyone to slow down and pull into the pits. If I can get back to the Start/Finish line before they throw the black flag, my lap will count. I need my one clean lap before they throw that black flag.

I catch and pass a slow car on the short straight between T4 and T5.
Still no flags.

I aim a little more left as I enter the chicane. This puts my right tire actually up on the berm and my left wheel out were the dirt is less dug up. The ride is less dramatic but still quick.

 

Turn 9.
Turn 10.
My eye is fixed on the flag stand.
No flag. No flag. No flag.
I am by and the lap is good.

 
No black flag!
 
"1:44.2" I hear over the radio...
 
The black flag is out by the time I reach Turn 5. We head back to the trailer while the other cars line up to be let back onto the track.
 
chart from Moroso q2 123007

 

View video of qualifying lap (18 MB - .wmv file)
 


content2

join mail list animation
Saturday, Dec 29, SARCC race
Sunday, Dec 30, SARCC race

DISCLAIMER

All content Copyright © 2016 ProEV Inc.,
USA phone (305) 610-6412
email: info@ProEV.com

Go to ProEV Home