Japanese maintain lead as South Africa’s NWU clocks more distance than TUT for first time

Dutch to start second from Port Elizabeth on sixth day of Sasol Solar Challenge

Port Elizabeth, South Africa 

Japanese solar team Tokai maintained their 36-kilometre lead over world champions Nuon on the fifth day of the Sasol Solar Challenge. Ending at the Aldo Scribante Raceway today, the two Challenge frontrunners each covered a distance of 575 kilometres on public roads between Graaff-Reinet and Port Elizabeth. Tokai has now completed 2,611.6 kilometres, placing them first on the start line on Thursday.

Starting behind those international teams at 7h30 on Thursday will be the South African car, Phoenix, from North-West University. This is their first top-three start of the event, achieved after resolving electrical and battery challenges with their car, that enabled a full 444.6 kilometres. Behind them will be the Tshwane University of Technology, clocking 249 kilometres on Wednesday.

Sonke Siyakude, the high school team from Pretoria, South Africa, completed 171 kilometres. The Central University of Technology covered their first distance today, completing 64 kilometres, placing sixth, ahead of City University’s sustainability car, which did 27 kilometres.

The Swiss team had a challenging fifth day. Taking wind damage to the cockpit cover, their car SER-3 is mechanically and electrically sound, but only completed 173.4 kilometres today. The team is hard at work in the pits of Aldo Scribante Raceway to make sure all is in order for the Port Elizabeth to Sedgefield route tomorrow. “We were disappointed that we couldn’t do more distance today, but we were encouraged by the incredible turnaround that TUT made earlier in the Challenge when their car was damaged,” said Han Wang, spokesperson for the Solar Energy Racers. "We'll make sure to reinforce the critical parts in preparation for the strong Cape winds - our strategy is always 'safety first'." They’ll be ninth on the start line tomorrow, following late-entry penalties.



Editor’s notes

For media queries, interviews and photos: 

Anzet du Plessis

+27 83 557 2322



Sasol Solar Challenge route and dates

22 September: Pretoria – Sasolburg – Kroonstad

23 September: Kroonstad – Winburg – Bloemfontein

24 September: Bloemfontein – Edenburg – Gariep Dam

25 September: Gariep Dam – Middelburg – Graaff-Reinet

26 September: Graaff-Reinet – Jansenville – Port Elizabeth

27 September: Port Elizabeth – Kareedauw – Sedgefield

28 September: Sedgefield – Mossel Bay – Swellendam

29 September: Swellendam – Bredasdorp – Cape Agulhas – Stellenbosch


Useful links

Link to 2018 Sasol Solar Challenge photography: http://bit.ly/SSCMEDIA

Facebook page: SA Solar Challenge

YouTube channel: SASolarChallenge

Twitter handle: @Solar_Challenge

Official hashtag: #SasolSolarChallenge

Instagram: sasolarchallenge

Wednesday, September 26, 2018