Sasol Solar Challenge winding down to a big finish
The 650km sixth stage of the epic 5400 kms Sasol Solar Challenge between Oudtshoorn and East London presented the teams with many challenges ranging from narrow roads to scattered rain along the way. The teams braved the rain and conquered the rough terrain between the two cities.
The first stop was the Port Elizabeth control stop where the people of the friendly city came out in numbers to cheer on the local team. By the time the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University team pulled their car into the control stop, the area was a hive of excitement with parents, family members and sponsors trying to catch a glimpse of the futuristic car.
For many of the students taking part in the challenge, the harsh reality of theory versus practicality is starting to sink in. It is evident over the course of the race that one needs to apply their mind to a situation more than theory dictates and this is something all the students seem to agree on. For them, the race has taken what was learnt from a theoretical aspect in the classroom and has presented them with real life working problems that they would not have otherwise encountered had they not been part of the Sasol Solar Challenge.
Today the teams leave East London and head towards Bloemfontein. Some of the slower teams will head straight for Kokstad and Pietermaritzburg where they will all meet up for the final two stages of the 2012 Sasol Solar Challenge.
Here we expect to see a large crowd coming out to support the team from UKZN who have been very impressive in every stage of the challenge. At the moment, the team from UKZN is second class behind the vastly experienced Tokai University and are currently the best performing South African car in terms of distance covered by their car on the road.
These last stages are going to test the teams to the max as teams are required to cover distances that they have not attempted to cover before. With this being day seven of the challenge, it is starting to take its toll on the teams. The last stages of the 2012 Sasol Solar Challenge are sure to provide some much anticipated entertainment