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TUT triumphs in solar car race

The Sunchaser 4 car completed 93 laps, reaching a maximum speed of 101 kph

The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Solar Team emerged victorious at the 2022 Ilanga Cup Solar Challenge after racking up 390 kilometres during the eight-hour long endurance challenge.

Using Bridgestone solar tyres on the Sunchaser 4 car, they completed 93 laps at the Red Star Raceway, at an average of 48 km per hour, with a maximum speed of 101 km per hour. This included a mandatory stop of five minutes every time they swapped drivers. 

“The Ilanga Cup was a great event to test Sunchaser 4 to its limits and it was an honour to connect with other solar car teams in preparation for 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge,” say TUT Solar Team managers. “We are really looking forward to the next event and encourage young and old to become a part of the e-mobility community.”

The event was sponsored by Bridgestone Southern Africa, a pioneer in energy efficient tyre technology.

With a focus on developing new solar car teams and growing existing teams in the Southern Africa region, the Ilanga Cup Solar Challenge also aims to spread the awareness of renewable energy.

Robert Walker, director of the Ilanga Cup, says: “Conversations on sustainable transportation are in the spotlight and continue to gain momentum. We are excited to partner with companies such as Bridgestone who are striving towards sustainability.

“The weather was not solar car friendly but the (TUT) team persevered. We can attribute this success to the STEM technologies which the team developed to endure both the sporting and the weather challenges.”

Shailesh Singh, key account manager for motorcycle and motorsport at Bridgestone Southern Africa, says: “The Ilanga Cup was a fascinating event. It was great to meet and engage with the solar car teams, and also learn more about their STEM technologies, which are developed for real-world challenges.

“The reason we sponsor the Ilanga Cup Solar Challenge is because the event aligns with our goal as a global company to be a leader in sustainable mobility solutions. We are a pioneer in sustainable mobility solutions and we are invested in a more sustainable future for the planet, that’s the reason we are interested in the development of solar energy and solar mobility.”

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