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New format for 2020 Sasol Solar Challenge

November 2019 News

The 2020 Sasol Solar Challenge is officially open for entries and boasts exciting changes. Participants can look forward to a new route, changes in format, and a renewed title sponsor. It will be held in September next year, once again challenging top young engineers from across the world to drive their fuel-free, cutting-edge cars across 2500 km of South Africa’s public roads.

Competitors in 2020 will have to think on their feet on ‘blind’ days, when information regarding the route is withheld until the night before, forcing teams to strategise on the go. Experienced teams usually travel the route several times in advance to prepare for all challenges, but will now need to plan for the element of surprise. The loops en route, which allow teams to rack up distance and get a lead on competitors, will also be much shorter in 2020. Spectators will also have better opportunities to see the carefully co-ordinated, Formula 1-style pit stops in action.

The Sasol Solar Challenge is a popular testing ground for the world’s leading teams to push new equipment to the limit. Widely regarded as the most difficult of a dozen such events globally, the baking sun, violent storms, high winds, changing road surfaces and a record drop in altitude of nearly 2000 m along the route allow teams to gather invaluable data.

“The 2020 Sasol Solar Challenge is once again an opportunity for our team to test and understand new technology we’ve developed,” says Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) team leader, Johannes de Vries. The University’s car, Sun Chaser 3, topped the South African leader board with 2397 km in 2018. Sun Chaser 4, which will compete in 2020, is 25% more aerodynamic, and the team hopes to make it 20 kg lighter too.

Sasol is the title sponsor for the fourth year running, demonstrating its commitment to furthering STEM education and inspiring learners to pursue technical careers. “The Sasol Solar Challenge brings maths and engineering to life in the eyes of the thousands of school children it reaches on its route, inspiring them in ways that textbooks simply cannot,” said Sasol’s group brand marketing manager, Nozipho Mbatha.

For more information contact Gabi Falanga, +27 79 458 0888, gabi@prooafrica.co.za, www.solarchallenge.org.za




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