The eight solar car teams in the Sasol Solar Challenge have successfully wrapped up day four of the event. After travelling a day distance of 319 km from Gariep dam to Graaff-Reinet, they successfully crossed the finish line on time (17:00), with some teams finishing a few minutes later.
Some of the teams did a few loops at the control-stop in Middelburg before rushing to the finish line.
“The Sasol Solar Challenge doesn’t measure speed but endurance, however the teams have a specific time to cross the finish line. If they are not at the finish line at 17:00 they get penalised. We add more minutes to their start time the next morning,” said Robert Walker, Owner and Director of the Sasol Solar Challenge. “The teams did really well today, the last one to cross the finish line was however late by 15 minutes. It is important for all teams to respect the time in order to avoid getting penalties.”
Today’s route incorporated both short and longer loops. The short loop was a distance of 35 km, while the longer loop was 51.6 km. Four of eight of the teams used this opportunity to drive on the loops to add on their kilometres.
The control-stop in Middelburg also incorporated a schools programme. More than 300 learners from the town attended the programme and were fascinated by all the activities that they were doing in each station. The programme had three stations; robotics, e-mobility and solar technology. The learners were given an opportunity to experiment with different engineering, and mathematics and energy concepts.
“This is the first time that our learners get so close and actively involved in STEM programmes. We know about a few STEM programmes and initiatives, and we hear about them on media but we have never had an opportunity to actively take part in such programmes. This was a great opportunity for the schools in the community to actually witness STEM in real-life. It’s also great that the community came in numbers to view the solar cars and also learn about STEM,” said Mariaan Stannard, Principal at Hoërskool Middelburg.
Nozipho Mbatha, Senior Manager: Group Brand and Sponsorships at Sasol said: “It’s always great to see learners getting excited about STEM. The Sasol Solar Challenge Schools Programme provide young people with the opportunities to see how their theoretical knowledge is executed hands-on real-world applications of STEM.”
Day five of eight of the Sasol Solar Challenge will start and finish at Graaff-Reinet on 13 September.
Day four results are as follows:
- Agoria Solar Team – 508.8 km
- Brunel Solar Team – 560.4 km
- TUT Solar Team – 422.2 km
- NWU Solar Car Team – 370.6 km* (car trailered)
- Genuine JV Solar Car Team – 209 km* (car trailered)
- University of the Free State Solar Team – 64 km* (car trailered)
- SolarFlair – 83 km* (car trailered)
- Seilatsatsi (CUT) – (Withdrew from the Sasol Solar Challenge)
- UniChamps Solar Car Team – 12 km* (car trailered)
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: