Taking place in an event like this is being on a rollercoaster for 15days. From the first moment we get on the plane everybody on the team just stop being individuals. For the last 8 years Near East University Solar Racing Team growing, learning and teaching nonstop.
We can summarize the outcome in three sections good, bad & ugly.
Every single event we took place we understand how nicely connected members in the team from administration to the mechanics. We never have any drama during or after the race. A well connected team acts as a nicely coupled gears. During this race we saw it one more time.
Ra27 was handling all types of roads very nicely. Drivers time to time complain about the breaks and steering so it is a problem that we have to deal and can be fixed very easily. Looks like we learnt a lot from the last Sasol Solar Challenge and produced a better car which made 1000km more than its predecessor. Even on the plane flight back to Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus everybody on the team start discussing what should be done on the next car and honestly we believe that our next Ra is going to be much better.
We bought solar panels from Gochermann Solar Technology and they perform much better than our last panels. So for the next car we will definitely have the panels from them. Under heavy sun or rain, cold and hot weather solar panels did a great job. Even couple of times trucks throw some stones on our solar panels not even a scratch on the panels. With their panels we never run out of juice during the race.
Think Bike Marshals did a perfect job. Last time when we were racing in Sasol Solar Challenge in 2014 Think Bike Marshals only helped us to get out from the Pretoria traffic, but this time they were with us all the time. We met with our Think Bike Marshal Michael Wright on the first day of the event and he was all the time with us, he even become our “Big Bro”. As a team we believe that we have a life long friend in South Africa. As they say they protected the “bubble” perfectly.
Sasol Solar Challenge organizers are always very helpful. Officials were always with us even on our slightest problems. They are running a great event which we enjoy every single second. For us they become our friends which we see in every two years.
Near East University is our home. University have been our biggest supporter in all competitions that we are taking place and make us feel the luckiest team in the world. All our plane tickets and accommodations are arranged by the Near East University owned tourism agency. We can only concentrate on the race and not to bother with the normal day problems just because of our university.
As a team we always travel to different countries at least twice a year for different events. We believe that we become little bit relaxed on this issue and this time and didn’t check the Republic of South Africa laws carefully, which caused our driver to fly to South Africa twice. But we understand that he is the most devoted member of our team.
Shipping a car to another continent is never easy. Although we have been promised that our car is going to be ready 3 days before we arrive we can only get the car the day before the race starts. Even on this case we will never forget how organizers worked hard to solve our problem.
Only one ugly thing happened during the race. During the race even two Think Bike Marshal’s are waving an opponent scout car to pass on an open road, the scout car pulled in front of our solar car and braked. After the race we talked with the manager of that team and they told us that the driver of that car just got his drivers license 2 months ago. As a team we always want to stay on the safe side and we also want to see the same from our opponents.
Let’s finish our sentences with a little altered version of inch by inch speech of Al Pacino from “Any Given Sunday” movie.
On this team, we fight for that inch
On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us to pieces for that inch.
We CLAW with our finger nails for that inch.
Cause we know
When we add up all those inches that’s going to make the difference
between WINNING and LOSING
between LIVING and DYING.
That’s a team, gentlemen and either we heal now, as a team, or we will die as individuals.
That’s racing guys.
That’s all it is.
Now, whattaya gonna do?