We’ve moved

Hi there eco-fans

It’s a new race year and so we’ve moved to a new blog.
All of our old posts are up there, too. This blog will stay here but it won’t be updated, so to continue following the team’s progress you’ll need to bookmark our new one.


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Static Scrutineering


With the start of the Global Green Challenge just a few days away, this morning marked Endeavour’s first test: scrutineering. Race officials checked over every minute detail of the car, to check that we had complied with all the regulations. Endeavour passed with (mostly) flying colours – great work by the technical team, all those hours pouring over the rule book paid off!

There was excitement during the driver ingress/egress tests. Each of our four drivers had to demonstrate that they could get in and out of the car unassisted in under 15 seconds. Unfortunately, Mike’s bleeding shins were rather obvious proof that the front edge of the cockpit needed some sharp edges removing, but once this had been fixed Endeavour met all the organisers’ requirements. There was some disappointment too, however, when we found out that we were not going to be able to run using Dunlop’s specialised Solarmax tyres. Tests over the last few days have shown us the potential huge improvement in performance that these tyres could give, but it appears that our wheel rims are slightly too large.

It was great to see some of the other cars at the showground today. The Umicore car is looking impressive, as are the Principia and Sakarya University cars. Also fantastic to see Bochum’s BoCruiser and Leeming High School’s two-seater – makes a nice change from the Nuna-esque designs!

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CUER Adventure Days

Chris finally meets his match: a giant Cathedral Termite mound in Litchfield National Park

Chris finally meets his match: a giant Cathedral Termite mound in Litchfield National Park

Hi all! Time for another non-work-related blog post from me.  This one is about the “adventure days” that CUER have had whilst in Darwin.  I personally have had three great days off, though not all in a row, don’t worry.

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CUER shines for the press

"A hairdryer, you say?..."

"A hairdryer, you say?..."

On Thursday, CUER invited the press of the Northern Territory to come along and see the car testing along the Channel Island Road. This was very exciting – for CUER it was our first time testing the car on the road in Australia with the shell on. There was much to learn, for instance; does the aerodynamic shell actually reduce the power consumption? Is the driver too hot? Does the chassis interfere with the shell when running at full speed, and, for example, over cattle grids? We managed to answer a lot of these questions – but this is not the purpose of this post (I will keep you on tenterhooks about that!)

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Swlwr Cwr Cymru

CUER’s announcement yesterday that we are now the only British team remaining in WSC 2009 has elicited an amazing amount of support from back home. In particular, we received a wonderful message of encouragement from the Welsh Solar Car team, NOS Gwawr:

My Dear Friends,
It is good to read how you are doing in Darwin right now.
 We the Welsh Solar car team would like to wish you the very best as you take the British dreams on your shoulders.
Good luck & make us Proud! (and we look forward to buying you a beer on your return)

We’d just like to say a big thank you to the Welsh for their support, and wish them the best of luck next year, when they hope to be competing in NASC 2010.

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UCL Withdraws

The updated entrants’ list on the GGC website has revealed that University College London, the only other British team planning to compete in the race, has withdrawn its entry.

This must have been a difficult decision for the UCL team to make, given that they’ve clearly put a lot of work into the design of SolarFox 3. SolarFox2 came an impressive 11th place in the last WSC, and we were looking forward to meeting the British race veterans.

The withdrawal of UCL means that CUER is now the sole British entry in the 2009 race. Endeavour will be prominently displaying the Union Flag on both rear fairings, and we recently acquired a hard copy to wave about in a patriotic way.

Keep an eye out for it!

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Arrival of the Shell

After many months of grappling with the complex world of the shipping industry our final container arrived at our workshop, with the help of BOC’s flatbed lorry, 5 days ahead of schedule. The shell and an assortment of boxes emerged undamaged much to the glee of everyone who had spent many long hours covered in epoxy and carbon fibre back home.

There had been concerns that our shipment would be quarantined for containing organic matter but our scrupulous cleaning ensured that we passed quarantine inspection in under 10 minutes, the fastest of any team so far. At least we’ve won at something!

Now that the whole car has arrived everyone is working hard to reattach the shell to the chassis ready for final on-road testing later next week.

– Chris

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