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Old 01-21-2008, 03:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 01-21-2008, 06:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Old 01-21-2008, 06:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Old 01-21-2008, 11:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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OK! OK!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bestmapman View Post
Any updates on the Great Race?
Dan (krousdb) and I were at the Great Race team conference this weekend in Santa Monica, CA. (Which is an exceedingly nice place to go in the middle of January, I have to say.)

The big question first: do we have a vehicle sponsor?

Not yet.

But the Hybridfest organizers (who are coordinating the MPG challenge portion of the race) are continuing to pursue this and were upbeat that the vehicle situation would work out.

The worst case scenario (which isn't really that bad at all) is that Dan & I will do just the North American portion of the race (NY to Vancouver, BC) in his Prius.

This weekend's team conference...

The purpose of the team conference was to meet the other participants, learn what to expect and how to prepare for the event. It was a jam packed weekend.

(The venue bordered on inhumane, mainly because the view out the conference room was palms swaying in the 17 C breeze and the sun sparkling on the ocean. Note to organizers: if you want people from places that have real winter to pay maximum attention at these things in the middle of January, you need to set them in Nunavut, not southern California. Not that I'm complaining! But I did bolt for the door at every opportunity - breaks & meals.)

Route info...

The organizers have done a huge amount of preparation already. They've already driven the entire route - some portions several times. They assured participants that while the roads will be challenging and off the beaten track as much as possible, they're appropriate for "normal" cars. There are only something like 20 miles (Dan?) of unpaved roads on the entire journey.

Participants...

It's a diverse group that includes entries from 8 countries: predominantly the U.S., then Canada, Australia, Brasil, Ireland, Poland, Mexico and Colombia.

I talked with the Colombian couple who are entering their '28 Ford speedster in the classic "Schuster" division. Very interesting people. They restored their car and have driven it through South America, among other continents.

The classic division is named after George Schuster, the driver of the American car that won the 1908 competition. Schuster's great grandson was at this weekend's conference and performed a spellbinding first-person account of the race from his great grandfather's perspective.

The competition...

The MPG Challenge participants have twice as much to do.

Not only are we competing for points with the entire fleet following rally style rules (set routes covered at precisely defined speeds), but we're also competing within our class for the lowest fuel consumption overall.

Edit: note that only a portion of the total distance covered will include "rallying" for points (something like 15% of the driving). Most of the driving is just getting from A to B. So the non-MPG Challengers can let their guard down somewhat on those "transit" portions, but we'll be on our game at all times.

Ecomodders too...

Have a look at the list of entrants & vehicles. There are some tanalizing entries in both classes.

I love the classics and am looking forward to the up close access I'll have to admire these beauties and talk with their owners, but I'm really looking forward to seeing what folks are bringing to the Innovation category: A 2007 Ford Prototype? 2007 Modified Production?

A gaggle of biodiesel & ethanol conversions...

A 1957 Chevrolet Corvette (Modified gas/electric hybrid)

Woohoo!

--

Lots of details left to be worked out. It's going to be fun, challenging & fascinating.
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Old 01-21-2008, 11:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Word up! Good thing I didn't spoil it by spilling the beans early.

If you get a prius will you be allowed to ecomod it?
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Old 01-21-2008, 11:59 PM   #16 (permalink)
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If the original plan falls into place (MPG challengers driving identical vehicles provided by a sponsor), they have to be "stock".

I'm not sure if the same applies if we're going in Dan's vehicle as an individual entry though. Good question...
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:30 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Honestly, I don't know what I would do to my car other than removing the back seat, glove box and other miscellaneous items to reduce weight. We will flip the mirrors back (if legal) and I would replace my tires with some of the 51 psi max tires that I have had my eye on. Maybe a wash and wax?

I'm hoping that none of that is necessary however.....
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:28 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

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90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

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Me too - I'd rather do the entire trip in a stock vehicle than North America in a slightly modified Prius.

Hatch wiper delete? Rear skirts?

One other thing I'd like to investigate is underbody aero. I haven't had the chance to look very closely yet, but my quick impression from looking at the rear of many Prii in CA is that from the rear suspension aft, there may be an opportunity to smooth things out more than Toyota did.
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:19 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
One other thing I'd like to investigate is underbody aero. I haven't had the chance to look very closely yet, but my quick impression from looking at the rear of many Prii in CA is that from the rear suspension aft, there may be an opportunity to smooth things out more than Toyota did.
Go here and scroll down until you find the underbody picture.

http://privatenrg.com/

It's not the best but it gives you an idea what there is to work with.

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