UPDATE 8/3/10: We apologize to the ZAP team for publishing the errored results which state that the ZAP vehicle was 12 laps behind the leaders within the Combined Efficiency Event on July 27th. The ZAP vehicle completed 48 of the 50 laps within the event, putting them 2 laps behind the leaders. The official results have been corrected, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused the team.
Combined Performance and Efficiency Complete.
Validation Testing Remains to Determine Winners!
For the Alternative Class category with side-by-side seating, it all came down to the last on-track challenge, the Combined Performance and Efficiency test, a timed race designed to serve as the “tie-breaker” should two or more vehicles in a class achieve all competition requirements coming out of Validation testing next month. Since Edison2 (Mainstream Class, Virginia) and X-Tracer (Alternative Class- Tandem, Switzerland) have two vehicles remaining in their respective classes with no other competition, there was no need for them to participate in this event. If one or both of their vehicles pass Validation, they win the $5 million and $2.5 million Grand Prize, respectively.
But that wasn’t the case in the Alternative side-by-side class where the remaining $2.5 million hung in the balance with five vehicles remaining in the class.
Five teams competed in yesterday’s pivotal tie-breaking event. Amazingly, all were battery electric vehicles. They were: Aptera (California, USA), Li-Ion Motors (North Carolina, USA), RaceAbout Association (Finland), TW4XP (Germany), and ZAP (California, USA). These teams had to travel 50 laps around the Speedway’s 2-mile oval, covering a full 100 miles as fast as possible, without exceeding 70mph while never going any slower than 45mph. There was one twist: The vehicles had to navigate something racers call a “chicane,” a bend in the track that would force each car to brake, turn, and accelerate to race speed on every lap. The total time to complete the course and each vehicle’s fuel efficiency, measured as MPGe, would be important factors in determining the winning vehicle.
On a clear and balmy Tuesday morning, drivers strapped into their vehicles as their anxious teammates looked on. To the assembled crowd at the speedway, the excitement on the track was palpable.
At the halfway point, Li-Ion Motors trailed the lead car from RaceAbout Association by mere seconds. But as the laps ticked off, the distinctive green Li-Ion Motors car drew ever closer, slowly narrowing the gap. With just a few laps to go, the margin stood at just under three seconds. It truly would be a race to finish. Here are the results:
Keep in mind that the winners are yet to be determined. Teams still need to complete Validation testing- which carries 50% of the weight in determining who takes home the prize money, before checks can be awarded this September.
Team Li-Ion finished first by a narrow 0.179 seconds! RaceAbout placed second and TW4XP third by 11 minutes, 36.9 seconds. ZAP completed 48 laps and Aptera completed 18 laps. Both experienced mechanical issues that forced them off the track before completing the test.
There were a few penalties assessed for speed violations:
· Team Li-ion received 1 penalty for driving under 45 mph
· RaceAbout received 2 penalties for exceeding 70 mph
· TW4XP had 4 penalties for being under 45 mph
Mileage numbers are proving impressive given the stress of this real world challenge on the contenders. For those who completed the race, Team Li-Ion achieved a respectable 125 MPGe and RaceAbout achieved 100 MPGe. Though placing third, TW4XP achieved a remarkable 138.9 MPGe.
Today, we’re closing up operations at Michigan International Speedway and preparing to head over to Chrysler’s Chelsea Proving Grounds for two days of Coast Down testing before our Finalists are taken to Argonne National Lab facilities in Chicago for their final Validation tests. A total of nine teams remain in the running for a portion of the prize purse. Edison2 (and their two Mainstream Class vehicles); X-Tracer (and their two Alternative Class Tandem vehicles); and Aptera, Li-Ion Motors, RaceAbout Association, TW4XP, and ZAP (in the Alternative Class Side-by-Side group) round out the crop of finalists moving onto Validation.
We’re only a few steps away from seeing which three of these teams will prevail!