It’s The Math, Stupid!

There’s definitely something going wrong. For some reason, no matter what we do we are always coming trough the calibration run early. That means to compensate, we should increase the factor on the speedometer by some number (determined by a pretty simple formula.) But by now we’ve increased our factor by so much we’re running real slow compared to the real speed we should be going. In checking with our stock speedometer we’re at least 5 mph slower than we should be going. That was confirmed when the 1930 Ford Model A passed us on the calibration section of the Hagerty Trophy Run this morning!

Either there is a problem with the speedometer or my calculations are way off. I’ll go with option #2 and guess I’m doing something wrong in my calculation. To double check, I thought I’d try the second, more precise but harder calculation (that I triple checked with a calculator back in the room later.) Amazingly, it says I should decrease the factor, even though we’re completing the course early! That can’t be right. (Or so I thought!)

So we decided to go with the increased factor as the original calculation prescribed, just to see what would happen. After all, how bad could it be? Well, when the expert team 2 minutes behind us caught up to us we knew we were in deep trouble! And when the team 3 minutes behind us caught up we figured it was time for drastic measures!

We ditched the rally speedometer and used the car’s stock speedometer for the last leg of the Trophy Run. We know the car’s speedometer is a little fast so if the last leg’s score is close to the official time or a little early, we know the rally speedometer is definitely off and we’re not as crazy as we think.

Our hunch paid off. The last leg, using the stock speedometer, turned out to be 31 seconds early and the previous legs (on the rally speedometer) were all late (though not as late as I expected, but still pretty bad.) It turns out the calculation I did by hand (and verified with the calculator) actually came up with a factor that we believe will give us a fairly accurate reading. We’re going with that number! And we’re sticking with it.

None of the experts we talked to this evening can understand why we are getting the results we’re getting. The most likely explanation is there is something odd going on in the electronics of the speedometer. All I know is, we’re going with the setting we have! We’ll see how close it comes tomorrow.

Lauren was bummed that we didn’t have a good showing in the Trophy Run. But on the bright side, we stayed on course, managed all the technical aspects of the instructions with no trouble, made no mistakes, communicated well, and had an overall great run! Except for the time…

Saturday morning brings the official start of The Great Race! It’s going to be a fun ride!