ETX high school solar car team needs help getting to dream rac - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETX high school solar car team needs help getting to dream race

BULLARD, TX (KLTV) -

The Bullard Solar Car Team hopes to represent East Texas at an international competition but needs help raising funds to get there.

Their solar car is the first high school solar car in East Texas and it's finally road ready.

"There's a windshield, there's fans, there's blinkers, everything your car has, minus the air conditioning," says Cullen Hippler, the financial and publicity director for the team.

The group started working on the car last summer. Now, they are preparing for their first race.

"We didn't want to just build a car just to build a car. We wanted to build a car that's competitive that, for years, Bullard High School can race and still win," says Austin Gwartney, the Bullard Solar Car Team captain.

The team says their solar car can go up to 105 miles per hour. They say they've only tested it to around 75 mph.

"Most people are very surprised to hear that we are high school students. That makes it even more worthwhile to see the look on their face when they realize the magnitude of this project and what we're actually doing," Hippler says.

Bullard ISD Superintendent Keith Bryant says he's proud of the team, "The responsibility that the students have had to take has been a great life lesson that we couldn't teach in a normal classroom."

The race the team plans to attend is an international competition for high school students. It's part of the Winston Solar Car Challenge and will require the students to drive their car from Texas Motor Speedway to Los Angeles, California.

"It's a race of endurance to see who can travel the most miles under their own power," Hippler says.

The team can't stop for gas or recharge their batteries during the race. They will have five official drivers who will alternate driving on the designated route. Hippler says he believes the team will drive from 8am-5pm every day, but they won't be going to the race if they don't raise enough funds.

"We have to raise $10,000 by the time we get to June 1st in order to go ahead and reserve our spot in the race," Hippler says.

That money will also cover hotel expenses required by race coordinators.

The team plans to leave Bullard on July 20. The race starts in Fort Worth on July 23. 

If you would like to make a donation to the team you can email stacy.gwartney@bullardisd.net or send a message to the team on their facebook page by clicking here.

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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