24 Hours Speed Endurance Challenge: Heading to the pits
In our attempt to beat the national record for maximum distance covered by a car in 24 hours, we would be driving the Mahindra XUV700s at pretty much full throttle during the 24 Hours Speed Endurance Challenge at the Mahindra SUV Proving Track. Inevitably however, we would have to make pit stops for refuelling the XUVs, changing the tyres if needed and also for swapping drivers. This is where we had an ace up our sleeve.
Pit stops would play a crucial part during our record run, costing us precious time and precious kilometres. But we need not have worried so much, because the pit crew from Mahindra Research Valley were incredibly efficient during these stops, ensuring the entire operation worked like a well-oiled machine.
Team members at the pit wall constantly monitored the fuel status of the XUV700s, communicating with the drivers via walkie talkies. Cars would be called into the pits at fixed intervals, with the diesel XUV700s staying out longer than the petrols on account of their longer range. When it was time for a car to enter the pits, the pit crew was informed well in advance, also ensuring that the entry to the pits was unobstructed for the drivers. The first thing that a driver did when entering the pits was unlocking the car and shutting off the engine, enabling the pit crew to refuel the XUV700. At the same time, the windscreens were cleaned of the bug splatter that was a frequent occurrence on the track. Erring on the side of caution, we also changed the right hand side tyres of the XUV frequently, as these would be subjected to high levels of lateral g-forces when driving on the 43-degree banking of the High Speed Track. The pit crew also had an assortment of spares handy, should there be any mechanical issues that needed sorting out, which thankfully wasn’t required. There was even an F1-style pit stop ‘lollipop’ present! Even with so much to do at each stop, the Mahindra team ensured that no car was stationary for longer than 3 minutes on average.
Thanks to an efficient pit crew, the pit stops were dealt with swiftly, ensuring that each driver putting a stint in the XUV700 would have a pristine machine when driving on the track. Team members also kept an eye out for other cars approaching the main straight, ensuring that it was safe for a car in the pits to rejoin the track.