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25/10/2014
by Jeroen Haringman
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2014 European Solar Challenge photos

ESC_logoDuring the 2014 European Solar Challenge I snapped nearly 700 photos with two cameras and my smartphone. Many (not all) of the smartphone photos were posted “live” to Facebook and Twitter, but I haven’t posted the photos from my cameras before. It took me quite a while to organise the photos, but here they are. After weeding out the blurry and irrelevant ones, I’ve uploaded the photos to my Google account, because they would take up too much space on my (relatively expensive) website hosting platform.

I’ve sorted the photos by date:

Unfortunately, because the time and date of one of my two cameras were not set right (a mistake I will not repeat because it caused me much headache), the photos are not in chronological order. Especially the Friday, Saturday and Sunday photos have two “sequences”. There’s not much I can do about that without spending enormous amounts of time on it – which I can’t spare.

Enjoy the photos :)

18/10/2014
by Jeroen Haringman
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2014 European Solar Challenge videos

ESC_logoDuring the 2014 European Solar Challenge I mainly took photos, and only a small number of videos. Video requires a lot of time editing, time I don’t have much of :) Here are the few videos I shot. All videos are HD 1280*720.

This video shows the Le Mans-style running start of the second half of the “long run” on Saturday, October 18th:

Sometimes, the solar car drivers got a bit carried away, and went into a corner a bit too fast, especially when a bit of rain had fallen. This caused a few spin outs. At the end of the event I went to Race Control and requested if they could play back those occurrences for me. They could :) I recorded this video with my camera from a monitor, so the quality isn’t brilliant, but it’s still spectacular:

After the long run and Saturday, the Solaris Solar Team from Turkey had to push their car towards the pit boxes, because its battery were empty. They got an awesome reception there! My apologies for the horrible quality, it was quite dark by then and my camera dealt with that badly.

At the end of the event, when all the races had finished, all seven teams and a few electric vehicles, made a few victory laps around the Zolder race track:

16/10/2014
by Jeroen Haringman
2 Comments

2014 European Solar Challenge recollections

ESC_logoFrom October 9th-12th I attended the 2014 European Solar Challenge, the very first time I attended such in event in person, and I absolutely had a blast. In the days following the ESC I’ve been very busy catching up with normal life, so that’s why this article took a bit longer to write than I thought it would. It’s still a one-man operation :) Continue Reading →

12/10/2014
by Jeroen Haringman
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Short post-2014 ESC update

ESC_logoA short update about the 2014 European Solar Challenge. I’ve had an awesome weekend at the Zolder race track, completely immersing myself into the world of solar racing for nearly four days. It was my first longer visit to a race track, which has its own atmosphere I had never tasted before. It was also – surprisingly, perhaps – my first time visiting a solar challenge event, so this was a unique opportunity to gain experience in reporting “from the field”. One of the things I almost immediately learned that for such an event, writing blog posts is almost impossible, and that social media such as Facebook and Twitter are the channels of choice.

I’ve shot hundreds of photos, several videos (including a few of spectacular spin-outs!) and made many notes during the event. I will organise and publish those in the days to come.

For now, I’d like to thank the event’s organisers, volunteers, sponsors, the Zolder race track and of course the solar car teams for this unique experience. I think everyone had a fun time, and an educational time. I absolutely hope this event will be back in 2016. When it is, I’ll be there for sure.

Watch this space for more updates about the 2014 ESC.

11/10/2014
by Jeroen Haringman
1 Comment

2014 European Solar Challenge – Friday: testing and scrutineering

ESC_logoToday, Friday October 10th, 2014, was the day of testing and scrutineering before the 2014 European Solar Challenge. In the morning the teams could drive test laps around the Zolder race track, and in the afternoon all the cars were checked to see if they met all the regulations. As I’ve never visited a solar racing event before, both parts were very interesting to watch.

I have taken many, many photos today, and I have posted many of them on the Facebook and Twitter pages. I don’t have time to sort through all of them now (the day will start early again tomorrow), so this post will not contain any photos. Many of them (especially the night photos) need some editing work. When I’ve had time to sort through them, I’ll create a Facebook photo album and/or a post here on the web page with a selection of the nicest photos.

For me today started at 08:00 with a breakfast with World Solar Challenge organiser / celebrity Chris Selwood, which was great! Around 09:00 the cars could get on the race track, and all the teams did several test laps. Many of the teams had telemetry monitoring stations set up next to the track, which could quickly read out data from the car as it passed by. Both the cars of the Turkish Solaris team and of the French Eco Solar Breizh team, broke down, and had to be returned to the pits. Both, however, were quickly fixed, and back in action for the scrutineering.

Scrutineering started with the static part, where the car is measured, and the teams have to prove certain safety features. After a car had passed this, dynamic scrutineering followed with a brake test and a U-turn to prove the turning radius is not to large. Around 16:00, all seven cars had passed both scrutineering parts, and that means we’ll have a full field tomorrow at the starting line.

I also attended the driver safety briefing, given by Tony Eyckmans, who’s been the track’s safety officer for more than 35 years. The drivers were explained the meaning of several flags that can be flown in several situations, light signals and what to do in the event a pace car will be sent onto the track. Again, as I have no race experience at all, this was very interesting. I also attended a strategy meeting, where one of the organisers explained how the handicap system will work that will allow very different cars (Cruiser and Challenger class) cars to run against each other as fairly as possible.

In the evening, the teams once more had the opportunity to drive test laps, this time around the dark track.

Tomorrow, the teams will race all day, from 09:00 until 19:00, with a break from 13:00-14:00. During that break, the public can drive/ride electric vehicles on the track. I’m going to see if I can drive a BMW i3 for a bit :)

The weather forecast for tomorrow does predict some rain, but not as much as it has been predicting in the past few days:

Zolder_weather_Saturday

This image is static. For an updated weather forecast, please check an updated version.

Tomorrow, I’ll be updating the Facebook and Twitter channels again, so be sure to keep an eye on that!