The first day of competition started out hot and early! We woke up to the hotel breakfast and soon found ourselves departing outside to the airfield where the competition is held. It was 8:30 AM and about 32-degree Celsius outside. A long line has already formed when we got there as other teams also went early trying to get a head start.
Once we registered and our trailer got to the assigned paddock, we quickly began setting up our tent and workstation. Work on the car began from where it left off last night. There are electrical connection problems with the steering wheel for shifting and some adjustments need to be made on the drivetrain axle.
The opening ceremony was quick and brief. One of the big sponsors of the competition, Honda, gave a present to all the teams at competition; 5 boxes of pizza and, more importantly, one box of Gatorades and one box of bottled water. There was more than enough pizza for everyone; enough for second and third rounds. What was not provided enough to us was water. With the weather expected to stay well above 30 degrees Celsius the entire week, the bottles of Gatorade and water was gone within a few hours. Unlike last year’s competition, there are no longer free bottles of water supplied all week long as the sponsor that provided it last year is not a sponsor this year. How unfortunate.
By the afternoon, it was time for tech inspection. This is where judges go over the details of the car to make sure it passes every single design standard set by SAE. Every team must pass this test in order to move on. We scrambled to finished every single little touches on the car as our car number got called in for the inspection. We wanted to make sure we pass tech in our first try as it is critical to saving time and moving on. Unfortunately, just as we got the car ready for tech, the judges have moved on to the next group of cars. By then there was little much we can do but wait for tomorrow as the competition schedule for the first day comes to a close.