The community of Winburg gathered at the main street of the town on 10 September, to welcome and support the solar car teams, which are competing in the 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge, as they were driving in the town for the second control-stop of the event.
The residents comprising all ages and including, town officials, learners and school teachers couldn’t hold their excitement as they saw the solar cars approaching the main street. They surrounded the street waving and chanting each team name. Young children rushed towards the teams as they were getting off their solar cars, while spectators were capturing these moments in their cameras.
“The reaction that we received from the community of Winburg was overwhelming. The most notable thing is that they were at the control-stop before us. They knew that we were coming, and they were prepared to host us with open hearts and also show support to the teams,” said Robert Walker, Owner and Director of the Sasol Solar Challenge. “We hope to continue to impact more communities along the route.”
Day two of the Sasol Solar Challenge incorporated a schools programme in the town. Eight schools from the area participated in the programme which was conducted at the control-stop. The learners had an opportunity to learn more about solar technology, robotics and e-mobility through solutions created for real-world challenges.
Brunhilde Rossouw, Councillor of Winburg and town ambassador said: “Our children don’t often get these opportunities to experience STEM in real-life. I was a school teacher for 35 years and there is nothing more exciting than introducing programmes to learners that can entice them to become interested in possible future careers. We are grateful to the Sasol Solar Challenge for bringing this event to our community and we hope to see the event here again in 2024.”
Nozipho Mbatha, Senior Manager: Group Brand and Sponsorships at Sasol said: “One of the key objectives of the Sasol Solar Challenge is to stimulate a sense of wonder and curiosity about STEM among learners - to create awareness, excitement and unique opportunities for them
with a specific focus on STEM subjects. Today we have witness this in Winburg, with the excitement that we have received from the community.”
Day two of the Sasol Solar Challenge started in Kroonstad. Teams used the control-stop in Winburg to rack-up as many kilometres as possible before heading to the finish line in Bloemfontein.
Seven solar cars managed to cross the finish line on time (17:00), while NWU Solar Car Team arrived 23 minutes late, leading to the team getting penalised. This means that the team’s departure time on 11 September will change – adding more minutes before it can be set off at the start-line. Meanwhile, Seilatsatsi officially withdrew from the event following few glitches in their solar car. This leaves the event with eight solar cars teams.
Day two results are as follows:
- Agoria Solar Team – 519.2 km
- Brunel Solar Team – 476.6 km
- TUT Solar Team – 370.1 km
- NWU Solar Car Team – 384.4 km* (team trailered)
- Genuine JV Solar Car Team – 142 km
- University of the Free State Solar Team – 51 km
- Seilatsatsi (CUT) – 0.6 km
- SolarFlair – 0 km
- UniChamps Solar Car Team – 9.2 km
Spectators are welcome at all stops, and more information on the route and the teams can be found at:
https://www.solarchallenge.org.za/ or on social media:
Sasol Solar Challenge App
For IOS system download here:
For Android system download here: