For the past week, we have been carrying out final preparations on Resolution for the race. On Tuesday, while testing on a specially designated solar testing road in Australia, our car had an accident during which it rolled onto its side. The driver was unhurt. Over the following days, repairs were made to the structure of our car, to restore the safety cage around the driver. Further tests were then carried out under controlled conditions on track. This revealed new dynamic instabilities, which we have not been able to fix in the time we have left before the race.
Due to the limited amount of time we have left to remedy our situation, we have not been able reassure ourselves of the safety of our solar drivers. Therefore, with great regret, we have decided to withdraw. The team is very disappointed but we are confident that we have made the right decision.
Despite these setbacks, there are many positives to be taken from the event this year. First and foremost, our engineers have ensured that our drivers have been safe at all times, with the car’s crash structure performing as designed in the event of an accident. Secondly, Resolution produced its best ever results while testing in Australia, indicating that CUER would have been on target to be competitive. Additionally, we have developed several new and innovative technologies over this design cycle: the tracking plate, flexible fairings, and concentrator systems – all of which will stand CUER in good stead for future competitions. And finally: Resolution has been an inspiration – to us; to the many members of the public who have been able to see her displayed; and to the next generation of engineers.
As a team, we could not have reached this stage without the support of everyone who has helped us this year. We would like to thank our sponsors and the individuals who have given us technical and financial assistance; the WSC organisers, for their efforts in getting us to the start line; and the other solar car teams here in Australia, for so generously stepping in to support us where they can.
Over the next week, we hope to prove our innovative technology in the environment for which it was designed. Looking forward, the team will continue investigating the performance of Resolution in the UK, and use what we’ve learnt to build a race-winning vehicle in 2 years’ time.