South African teams back on track in solar car race


Many of the “teething” problems experienced on the first day of the 11-day, 5 400 km Sasol Solar Challenge seem to have been fixed, after many of the South African teams made it to the finish line on day two before the cut-off time.

Many of the South African teams – the majority of them first-time participants – could not take part in the first leg from Pretoria to Vryburg owing to minor technical difficulties, and had to restart on the second leg from Vryburg to Upington on Wednesday, while others were delayed after road works and potholes along the route provided challenging obstacles.

However, with the University of Johannesburg, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the North West University all arriving at the stop-over point in time on Wednesday, and many of the teams covering longer distances than the day before, most of the challenges seem to be under control.

“This is a vast improvement from the first leg of the race, as at the end of day one, none of the South African teams made it to the finishing point on their wheels,” said Sasol Solar Challenge race director Winstone Jordaan.

Despite the South African teams starting the second stretch of the race alongside the two Japanese teams, the more experienced former Solar Challange champions Tokai University and team Kenjiro Shinozuka once again took the lead.

The teams travelled from Vryburg, in the North West, to Upington, in the Northern Cape, on Wednesday, and would, on Thursday, undertake the 350 km leg to Springbok.