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Sunswift’s eVe smashes the world record for the fastest long-range electric car
23 July 2014
UNSW's solar car racing team, Sunswift, smashes attempt at the world record (subject to FIA approval) for the fastest long-range electric car.
Read the thrilling blow by blow account of the day from team member Rob Ireland below.
“We're nearly ready to go but fog is clouding the track! We’re assured this will clear soon.
The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport scrutineer conducts a final check on eVe to ensure we're abiding by all regulations during the record, from the solar panels being disconnected to the car adhering to all safety requirements. We get the thumbs up and the excitement mounts as the test driver hops into the car to do some test laps around the circuit.
At exactly 11.40am EST, amidst heavy morning fog, eVe sets off to break the land speed record.
Garth Walden, our first driver, takes the first few laps at an easy 100km/h, but as the afternoon wears on, eVe takes it up a notch to 115km/h. Initially, the aim was to merely surpass the 100km/h barrier, so conquering even higher speeds is a fortuitous victory!
It’s 1.45 and a terrible scraping noise forces an emergency pit stop! Team members run to eVe’s side and discover a deflated front-right tyre. The hairs on the back of everyone’s necks stand to attention and adrenaline kicks in as the mechanical team endeavours to solve the problem.
We’re in luck. Thanks to our excellent crew of engineers the tyre change is executed within minutes and eVe returns to the track. We mentally high-five our meticulous preparation and stare down Murphy’s Law.
Karl Reindler takes over for the second half and undertakes the next circuit at a reduced speed of 90km/h, but having sailed through this, the ‘okay’ is given to continue at full speed following this lap.
The world record is at our very fingertips as the fog lifts and the sun breaks through. Could this be interpreted as pathetic fallacy? We hope so!
Attempt finished! The team goes wild with excitement, jumping around and hugging each other and our driver Karl marks the moment by spraying Champagne in true racing driver style. Within a few minutes we're rushing to pack up our vehicles and have the car undergo final scrutineer checks. The aura of pride and relief from the team is something we all will never forget."
Rob Ireland, Sunswift