As May draws to a close and team members' ranks are thinned, temporarily, by looming exams and other deadlines, CUER's new solar car is being finished and is about to be put through its paces within the secretive confines of a proving ground. In the meantime, preparations are under way for a launch in early July, where the finished vehicle will be revealed to the world.
The team have had a great start to the year. In February they were invited to take part in the first ever E-Luminate Festival, a five-day light festival in Cambridge celebrating the relationship between light and clean technology. They were given a prime position in the heart of the Grand Arcade to talk to the public and showcase Endeavour, their previous eco racing car which has raced across the Australian Outback twice and is now gracefully retired. No matter how busy they were, team members stood up to the challenge and manned the stand around the clock.
In March they went a little further afield. The women of CUER, with some help from the rest of the team, took Endeavour to the London Science Museum to be displayed at the High Performance Antenna Live festival on International Women’s Day. They took samples of different tyres to show which type was best and why; examples of the carbon fibre and Nomex core so people could see how strong but light their cars are; and a scale model of the new 2013 concept car.
In April the team were invited to display and present Endeavour and the model of the 2013 concept car at the Gadget Show Live in Birmingham's NEC where they took the opportunity to meet the public and the media again.
So now 'roll on' the testing program! The aim is to understand the characteristics of the vehicle and begin the process of optimising the car and drivers for peak racing performance. But of course, the team will continue to be out and about doing more outreach, meeting more people and going to more places with all the enthusiasm, knowledge and experience they have gathered over the years.
They hope that after the summer launch in July Endeavour's successor will continue its legacy. In the background, the fundraising continues so that the vehicle can be transported to Australia and fulfil its ultimate goal, to compete in the World Solar Challenge 2013.