The Biggest Solar Race in the World
09 Mar 2009
This year sees the return of the biennial World Solar Challenge, the biggest and most prestigious solar car race on the planet.
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From Darwin to Adelaide 25th-31st October 2009
This year sees the return of the biennial World Solar Challenge, the biggest and most prestigious solar car race on the planet. The brief is simple: to design and build a car, capable of crossing the vast and imposing continent of Australia, in the shortest possible time and using only sunlight as fuel. Now in its 20th year, the 3,000 kilometre challenge is the longest and toughest of its kind, attracting teams from across the globe.
Australian adventurer and renewable energy pioneer, Hans Tholstrup, founded the event back in 1987. After many years of participation in various motor sports and then the fuel crisis in the late 70s, he started to contemplate the way energy was being used and indeed, squandered.
Hans devoted the next 30 years to the development of renewable technology and became a household name when he crossed Australia in the first home-built solar car — the Quiet Achiever’.
This year will be the 10th World Solar Challenge and is the premier forum for solar vehicle technology ñ the biggest opportunity for solar-powered vehicles to prove that they can come close to the performance of fossil fuel-burning cars. ‘The people racing and the hundreds of visitors are all pioneering a sustainable future,’ said Hans. ‘Churchill’s praise of Spitfire pilots, back in 1940, applies to these people. Never have there been so few contributing so much for our future’ ñ sustainable energy for the world.’
The event is also committed to being run as greenly’ as possible. Participants, spectators and officials can offset their carbon footprint by planting Australian native trees through Greenfleet, a non-profit organisation, focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, competitors driven by the motivation to win the prestigious solar event, can also rest easy in the knowledge that they are contributing towards crucial research in sustainable transport alternatives, for the benefit of future generations.
Contact: World Solar Challenge, Level 8,
50 Grenfell Street, Adelaide, Australia 5000
Tel: +61 8 8463 4690
Above: 2007 World Solar Challenge winners, cross the finishing line. This is the fourth time the Dutch Nuon Solar Team have won the race, so look out for NUNA 5 in this year’s competition. Photo: © www.nuonsolarteam.nl
To read about the British entry, Solar Fox, from University College of London
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