Newsome race
Race -Session 1

My crew chief buckles me into the EV and then seals the canopy. I flick on the switches and get the signal that the track is clear. The EV accelerates and then coasts. The motor whirrs. The drive chain has come off.

We quickly try and re-install the chain without removing the bodywork. It goes on but comes off just as quickly. Practice ends.

We pull the bodywork and take a closer look. The top team, the Electrocutioners, are pitted next to us. They point out that the motor gear and wheel gear are slightly offset. This is something we missed in our chassis alignment. The wheels are straight to each other but now the gear on the rear wheel is not aligned with the motor.

Putting washers under the wheel gear bolts might line them up. Our neighbors have 3 washers. My crew chief checks with the other teams and manages to borrow more.

We work as fast as we can but the race gets the green flag while we are still buttoning up the vehicle. We are a lap down as I enter the track. The chain stays on.

Our lack of testing mean we have no idea of the capacity of our batteries and what current we can run. I tuck in behind the leader and run his pace. This offers the dual benefit of saving power (by drafting) and giving me a current setting for the pace we need to run.

It is pretty busy in the cockpit. I am in a fully reclined position. My steering is two hand levers. The throttle is a on/off button on the top of the left steering lever. There is also a mini lever mounted on the left steering lever that controls the maximum current available. I have a meter strapped to my thigh that I must check to get a rough idea of how much current I am using.

The brakes are operated by my feet. The left lever brakes the left wheel. The right lever brakes the right wheel. This is clever for braking the Super Coupe into a corner but tricky if you need to brake in a straight line.

My helmet visor is open since I am in a fully enclosed cockpit but keeps closing over the bumps and then fogging up.

I have to reach over with my right hand to perform fine adjustments on the Max Current mini lever but these are nullified as I go through a turn and my left hand, controlling the steering, keeps accidentally nudging the mini lever.

I really need to focus on the battle around me. I am drafting the leader as closely as possible to get maximum advantage but need to mirror his driving style better or I throw away any energy gained from drafting by having to use the brakes to avoid hitting him.

The gearing is wrong and the motor lugs coming out of the corner. This means the six other vehicles involved in the battle for the lead start jockeying for a pass. I bump up the Max Current and then try and re-adjust it before I over-run the leader.

This goes on lap after lap with the constant challenges of passing back markers, avoiding the high curbs, and watching the mirrors for surprise passing attempts. Time flies and I see the start line official show crossed green and white flags.

In most forms of racing, the white flag is shown to indicate last lap. The Super Coupe is still feeling perky, so I crank up the power and pass the leader. This puts me back on the lead lap. I go fast to gain back as much time as possible.

I come around the corner and there is no checkered flag. Someone is holding up a pit board saying "30 minutes". I see my crew chief. He is hand signing "30 minutes". Oops, crossed green and white flags must mean "half way".

I tuck in behind another fairly fast EV. His vehicle is wide in the rear and offers a good draft. We are all alone, so I can focus on smoothing out my driving and noticing things. I see my crew taking pictures and checking my speed with his Radar gun. I wish we had had enough time to set up the radios so we could discuss strategy.

At around the 45 minute mark, the motor cuts out. I coast into our pit. My crew chief checks over the outside. He finds and secures a dragging wire. It is just the USB cable to communicate with the motor controller and should not be causing the problem. The motor comes back to life and I re-enter the track. The motor quits again and I roll into the second set of pits. I climb out. Our race is done.



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Newsome -At the Track
Newsome -Session2


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