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Red Star Raceway was the scene of celebration today as the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Solar Team emerged victorious and crowned champions of the 2022 Ilanga Cup Solar Challenge. The team racked-up 390 kilometres during the eight-hour long endurance challenge – using Bridgestone solar tyres.

They managed to do 93 laps, racking up 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. 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.

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

With its focus in 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 even further as it continues to drive the innovation of alternative and sustainable energy.

“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. We look forward to more successes from this partnership,” said Robert Walker, Director of the Ilanga Cup. “We would also like to congratulate TUT Solar Team for winning the first event of the Ilanga Cup. The weather was not solar car friendly but the 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: Motorcycle and Motorsport Bridgestone Southern Africa said: “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.” Singh added that: “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.”

The event closed off with an awards ceremony to celebrate and acknowledge the achievement of all participants while recognising the specific success of the TUT Solar Team.


Additional images: Dropbox – 21 July photos – Simplify your life

About Ilanga Cup Solar Challenge

Sponsored by Bridgestone Southern Africa, the Ilanga Cup Solar Challenge is Southern Africa’s Inaugural closed track endurance circuit event, which is focused on driving the innovation of renewable and alternative energy. The event takes place annually and has been created for local solar car teams 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 Solar Challenge serves as a platform for solar car teams – professionals and amateurs alike – to not only test their solar cars but also learn and improve both team and the vehicle dynamics. With these opportunities, the aim is to nurture young and upcoming solar car teams and grow existing solar car teams in order to be able to compete in larger-scale events that are internationally recognised such as our very own South African Sasol Solar Challenge.