Pretoria - The Japanese solar team Tokai have unseated world champions Nuon on the second day of the Sasol Solar Challenge. In an equally big upset, South African high school team Sonke Siyakunde will start ahead of all local universities on Heritage Day. And in a tale of pure determination, Tshwane University of Technology completed more than 100 kilometres after rebuilding their cockpit and solar array overnight. This places them fifth on the start line on Monday.
“It’s only day two and the 2018 Sasol Solar Challenge is already proving that it’s anyone’s game,” said event director Winstone Jordaan. “This is the kind of competitive and resourceful spirit that we celebrate, and that proves the South African event is unlike any other.”
The Sasol Solar Challenge heads into its third stage on Heritage Day, departing from Bloemfontein for Edenburg and Gariep Dam. Rivals Tokai and Nuon both completed exactly 514.2 kilometres on Sunday, but the Japanese team finished a full minute ahead of the Dutch, earning Tokai first place on the Monday morning start line at UFS Sports Grounds. Swiss team Solar Energy Racers completed 372.6 kilometres, earning them third place.
SA’s North-West University, holders of the local-team record, got 301 kilometres under their belt after identifying a minor electrical problem that was slowing them down. Showing true engineering determination, the Tshwane University team went to extraordinary lengths to get their damaged vehicle back on the road today.
This Heritage Day will see all nine teams leave Bloemfontein for Edenburg, where they’ll complete their loops before heading to Gariep Dam for the night. Spectators are welcome in Edenburg’s town centre from 9:30 to 14:30, and at Gariep Dam from 4pm to 5:30pm.