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TUT Solar Team wins Ilanga Cup

November 2023 News

The TUT Solar Team has retained its title as the Bridgestone Ilanga Challenger Class Champions after completing a whopping 110 laps on the 4 kilometre-long racetrack during the 12-hour challenge. The second edition of this exhilarating event was held at the Red Star Raceway in Delmas, Mpumalanga at a scorching 32°C. This presented favourable conditions for the solar car endurance challenge.

Five groups of renewable technology engineers and enthusiasts entered the 2023 Bridgestone Ilanga Cup to test the performance and endurance levels of their inventions. At the start of the competition, a combination of nerves, excitement, and sense of uncertainty was apparent in the faces of team members. They were seemingly holding their breaths to see their vehicles completing the first lap without any complication.

The solar team from the Tshwane University of Technology took an early lead and managed to keep the momentum going, circling around the winding 4 km state-of-the-art closed track. After establishing a significant lead in the challenge, it soon became apparent that it would be near impossible to catch and overtake the smooth sailing Sun Chaser 4.

During the course of the challenge however, three tyres were damaged, but the team still managed to beat their 2022 record of 93 laps. Genuine JV from the HTS John Vorster high school in Pretoria came second. The team recorded an impressive 82 laps, in stark contrast to last year’s 28. The team that came third in the same category was Mpumalanga Solar Flair, after suffering a blow during the endurance challenge. The three-wheeled vehicle’s shaft unfortunately broke in the 28th lap. The team, though disappointed with the incident, seemed unfazed by the setback, promising to come back stronger in 2024.

Bridgestone, one of the global leaders in tyre manufacturing and technology was this year’s title sponsor. Its invaluable investment contributed massively to the stunning success of the Ilanga Cup Solar Challenge.

Speaking at the award ceremony at the end of the challenge, Bridgestone manager, Shailesh Singh thanked all teams for taking part in the challenge. “The event is a critical part in us investing in future leaders who will be focusing on helping us develop sustainable mobility innovation for tomorrow,” he said. The director of Bridgestone Ilanga Cup, Rob Walker thanked all participants, sponsors and all partners who helped make the 2023 event, a reality.

For more information contact Apaphia Lefatle, The Riverbed, +27 78 595 2467, apaphia@theriverbed.co.za, www.theriverbed.co.za




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