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 Ford Australia makes Proving Ground Available to Human Powered Vehicles

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Tim Corbett, Australian 6hr Record Holder, with his self designed, built and ridden Phantom TT machine.
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MELBOURNE, Australia — Ford Australia’s top secret Proving Ground in the You Yangs, near Geelong, is normally the reserve of horsepower.

However, with the sanction of Ford management, the Proving Ground provided the ideal location for people-power recently, providing two local Human Powered Vehicle teams an opportunity to attempt several world records for human-powered vehicles.

The day proved to be an exciting one with several Australian and world records set for Human Powered endurance.
Geelong-based elite cyclist, Tim Corbett  of Team Phantom TT & Carbon Revolution, is a Trike 6-hour Australian record holder.  Corbett was targeting the trike six- hour world record while members of the Trisled Team from Dromana targeted several one hour records in different categories on two wheels and three wheels.
Because of the high level of engineering expertise available on hand at the Proving Ground and ready access to Ford’s engineering test facilities, , Corbett’s Phantom TT Trike bike design was optimized to deliver its best. Learning from his previous Australian six-hour record success in October 2012, a number of significant design changes had been made to balance aerodynamic performance and interior airflow and temperature, notably the application of a solar reflective paint finish called Solacoat supplied by Coolshield International (Ocean Grove).
The conditions for the record attempts were almost perfect. Corbett set off for attempt at 9.30am. The feat required him to ride an average of 57 km/h or a total of 69 laps of the 4.8 km Ford Test Track in six hours. Corbett was hitting his first, second and third hour targets of 59 km/h. However, at this point the wind speed was increasing beyond the acceptable maximum of 10 km/h. By 1pm the wind speed was touching 20 km/h and was gusting as the machine exited the bends back on to the exposed straights. This made it extremely hard work for Corbett to push through and managing the severe side gusts. After three more laps, Corbett abandoned his attempt as the lap times dropped below target because of the constant fight with the wind.  
At this point of the day, the rest of the team considered giving up if conditions did not improve, but a few practice runs were done, which helped confirmed that the wind was relenting. Time was of the essence to secure a result and with daylight rapidly fading, at 4pm the team decided this was the best chance anybody was going to have to secure any records.
Gareth Hanks, known from his world record breaking trike “Completely Overzealous,” started his one hour world record attempt a minute ahead of Tim Marquardt, riding a two wheel recumbent called “Whoops”. Hanks was clocking a consistent 69 km/h for 4 laps until he suffered a puncture to his front left tyre.
Marquardt kept going while Hanks and his support team repaired the puncture and considered the opportunity to run again, having already spent up to 25 per cent of his energy. After 12.75 laps Tim achieved his PB of 61.3km and just missed the existing Australian 1hr record by half a kilometer.
With “Completely Overzealous” in the pits, Ben Goodall (Trisled Director) took the opportunity to start his
Australian record attempt in his compact two wheel machine called “Nitro Glycerin”.
Conditions grew more favourable as the wind speed dropped to below 10 km/h, the clouds thinned and
the sun began to set.
It became apparent that Ben was ahead of the Australian 1 hr Record of 61.8km set by Jeff Nielsen in
2008. Ben pushed through 13.75 laps to claim the Australian 1 hr Record with 65.47 km covered. Meanwhile, Gareth was re-energising himself to restart his World Record attempt in “Completely Overzealous” and Tim Marquardt’s son, Bryce, started his attempt at the Junior 1hr Australian and 1hr World Record.
Gareth was literally flying, again regularly clocking an average 71kph on successive laps and
occassionally reaching 83kph while contending with the breeze. Under a red sunset, both Bryce and
Gareth earned themselves World & Australian 1hr Records. Bryce covered 55km and Gareth
completed 14.9 laps and 71.45km to claim the Multitrack (trike) World Record.
An HPV zooms around the track at Ford’s Proving ground. Tim Corbett 1.9km ahead of target.
Tim Marquardt getting into “Whoops” 2 wheeler, supported by son, Bryce, and Ben Goodall from Trisled.
Ben Goodall in “Nitro Glycerin” during his 1hr Australian Record.
Tim Marquardt and Gareth Hanks lining up to start their record attempts.
Gareth Hanks in “Completely Overzealous”, 1hr World & Australian Record Holder.



4/24/2013 12:40 AM