The team arrived at the Auto Club Speedway at 7:00 am, one hour early. The place is absolutely immense and the fog and smog sure amplify this image.
Once the gate opened, the team got in line for the team registration. By that time came the opportunity to negotiate our turn for tech inspection. We went from 51st in line to 26th, not bad.
The rest of the day was spent finalizing all the details for tech inspection. Since the booth opens at 2:00 pm, we expected our turn to come around 4:00 pm. It seems our non-disclosure policy worked fine: our competitors had no idea of what our car looked like until we rolled it out of the truck. The innovative design and the build quality astounded the other teams.
It is the first time in 5 years that the ETS team participates to the California competition. The hot, dry weather, the grippy asphalt and the high proportion of winged cars were all pretty new to the team.
Finally, at around 5:45 pm, came our turn for tech inspection. The team got through like a breeze, mostly because of the team’s high level of preparation. Then came the official weight-in: The f2011 eights 331 pounds, one of the lightest cars in the competition.
After a hot day in the sun, everyone in the team went to sleep because day 2 will be frantic: the tilt, noise and brake tests, the design presentation, the business presentation and the cost event are all scheduled for tomorrow.