Yes. After halfway through our six day weekend, we finally hit Saturday. And it hit us back.
We started a little late and missed our first call to the technical inspections by five minutes. We waited in the drizzling rain for 3 1/2 hours trying to pass tech. Somehow, our drip pan was the only thing that kept us from passing. Everything else was great! Good work last night, everybody. By the time we got our beautiful shiny tech inspection stickers, the sun was out and the dust was drying out the dirt to make it a humid, dusty, mess.
With our new tech sticker, we went back to our trailer to work on the brakes. We thought we had them balanced ok and ran the car out to the brake test – around 1/4 mile across a bumpy field, pushing the car because you aren’t allowed to run your car before you pass the brake inspection. Thus, when we didn’t pass the brake test, we had to shove the car all the way back to the pits, and then all the way back again once we had it fixed. When we went back the last time, we ran. Ben, our brakes expert and the lightest driver on the team, rode and the remainder of the team took shifts pushed the car at top speed back out to the test track with only 10 minutes to spare before the test center closed for the rest of comp. But then, there we were. Ben jumped out and Mike in full safety gear hopped in in record time, and we passed! We made it. We can compete.
But four of the five dynamic events were about to close in 5 minutes. RUN!!! Now that we were allowed to drive the car across the competition center, Ben and Jane ran alongside the car to the acceleration test track. We were able to run the test twice before they closed down and we had to walk to car back to the pit, sweating and burning in the hot Kansas sun yet so happy we're able to compete in the endurance race tomorrow.
Track walk. At 5:30 there was a final meeting with the event coordinators (hooray for the volunteers!!!) and then everyone got to walk through the track for the endurance course. It doesn’t look too bad. Kansas is pretty flat after all. No creeks. No trees. Lots of jumps, telephone poles, and bulldozer dug trenches. We’ll see how we do tomorrow.
Tonight we made the very difficult decision to let the seniors race tomorrow. We wanted all of the freshmen to race – they’ve earned it. But so did the seniors. And tomorrow, Will, Mike and Jane will take their last laps as Northwestern Baja members. Let’s hope it’s awesome!!!