The 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge (SSC) will make its second control-stop in Winburg on the 10th of September, after travelling through three towns from Johannesburg.
“Each control-stop has an optional loop of road, which teams can drive their solar cars around as many times as they like, racking up more kilometres, and each loop requires a five minute control-stop before completion,” said Robert Walker, Owner and Director of the Sasol Solar Challenge. “The mandatory 30-minute stop is an opportunity for teams to refresh, swap drivers, do repairs, and strategise. It will also be an opportunity for the community of Winburg to come out and support the teams before the event moves to other communities, and subsequently the finish line.”
The town will witness solar-powered cars driving through its main street during the second day of the eight-day-long challenge.
The 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge will incorporate special stages, which includes half and full blind stages, where information relating to the route will be withheld until the night before teams take on the road, forcing them to strategise.
“This will make the event more exciting, challenging at the same time and more adventurous,” said Walker.
The Sasol Solar Challenge takes place every two years, bringing together university and high school teams, and even private engineers who have manufactured fully functioning, roadworthy cars powered only by the sun. It runs on public roads, sharing space with trucks and regular traffic, and passes through multiple small towns.
Winburg ambassador, Brunhilde Rossouw said the community is excited to host the event and are looking forward to meeting the teams and viewing the solar cars.
“The event will gather the community of Winburg to witness real-world applications of STEM. The most exciting part is that school learners will also be involved in this. I was a high school teacher for many years and there is nothing more exciting than introducing programmes to learners that can entice them to become interested in possible future careers,” said Rossouw.
The 2022 route from Johannesburg to Cape Town will include five provinces, 14 towns and more than 20 communities. New towns include Brakpan, Trompsburg, Willowmore, Kirkwood, Jeffreys Bay, Riversdale and Caledon. The event is also bringing new local and international teams including those competing for the first time in South Africa and in a solar challenge.
The Sasol Solar Challenge provides an opportunity for STEM enthusiasts and communities along the route, to come together and interact with STEM projects that tackle real-world problems.
Nozipho Mbatha, Senior Manager: Group Brand and Sponsorships at Sasol said, “Hands-on learning in STEM education is essential to spark learners’ interest. Meanwhile, we believe that communities play an influencing role in promoting desire for learners to pursue STEM education and gain the relevant intelligence. Therefore, it’s always great to have diverse members of the communities along the route come out and interact with the solar cars and the teams.”
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: