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The Sunchaser 4 emerged victorious at the inaugural Ilanga Cup Solar Challenge at Red Star raceway. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Sunchaser 4 emerged victorious at the inaugural Ilanga Cup Solar Challenge at Red Star raceway. Picture: SUPPLIED

Red Star Raceway in Gauteng was the scene of celebration last week as the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Solar Team was crowned champion of the 2022 Ilanga Cup Solar Challenge. The team racked up 390km in its Sunchaser 4 during the eight-hour endurance challenge on July 21.

The Ilanga Cup Solar Challenge is SA’s inaugural closed track endurance circuit event, which is focused on the innovation of renewable and alternative energy. Other solar challenges usually take place on public roads.

The TUT Solar Team managed to rack up 93 laps, with an average of 48km/h and a maximum speed of 101km/h. This included a mandatory stop of five minutes every time they swapped drivers. 

Sponsored by tyre-maker Bridgestone, the event takes place annually and has been created for local solar-car teams, professionals and amateurs alike to put their solar vehicles to the test in a controlled environment designed and focused on measuring the vehicles’ performance, efficiency and durability.

“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 the 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge. We are really looking forward to the next event and encourage young and old to become a part of the e-mobility community,” said TUT Solar Team managers.

“Conversations on sustainable transportation are in the spotlight and continue to gain momentum,” said Robert Walker, director of the Ilanga Cup.

“With these opportunities, the aim is to nurture young and upcoming solar-car teams and grow existing solar-car teams to be able to compete in larger-scale events that are internationally recognised, such as our very own South African Sasol Solar Challenge,” concluded Walker. 

Team Tshwane University of Technology who won the Ilanga Cup Solar Challenge. Picture: SUPPLIED
Team Tshwane University of Technology who won the Ilanga Cup Solar Challenge. Picture: SUPPLIED
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