High winds send practice runs indoors

High winds forced opening ceremonies indoors. Shell Oil Company President Marvin Odum welcomed the students to the historic home of the US auto industry, praising their commitment to innovation and engineering excellence. In his own welcome, Detroit Mayor Michael Duggan noted that a man named Henry Ford built his first car just a few blocks away, and tested it on the same city streets they’ll drive during the weekend’s competitions.

Test runs and inspections

Weather kept those streets off limits for the first day.  Fortunately the cavernous center accommodates a full track in addition to space for all the competitors’ cars and equipment. The 20 teams whose cars had already cleared technical and safety inspection lined up for early test drives immediately after the morning’s events.

Those with work to do headed back to their paddocks and cars to make tweaks, adjustments and, in some cases, major work ahead of technical inspection. Shell Eco-marathon Americas Technical Director Adrian Juergens is in charge of those inspections.  “So far, brakes, visibility and fuel are the problem areas,” he says. And safety, as always, is first priority: “We’re checking the driver’s safety restraints more closely than ever this year.”