The launch of the 2018 Sasol Solar Challange held at Time Square in Menlyn. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

THIS years Sasol Solar Challenge promises to be even bigger and better as youngsters have been roped in to be at the forefront of engineering tomorrow’s energy source technologies.

With the countdown to the 2018 Sasol Solar challenge officially launched at the Time Square Arena this afternoon, two schools will also be showing off their engineering skills by taking on the daunting challenge of creating a fast solar car.

The 2018 Sasol Solar Challenge sets off from Pretoria in September with more than a dozen solar racing teams, locally and internationally. 

South Africa remains the ideal place for such a race as the country boasts exceptional sunlight which is ideal to the solar endurance event.

For eight days teams' vehicles will compete over a span of 2 500km all the way to the Mother City, Cape Town.

But this years “cherry on top” is that learners aged between 13 and 19, from St Alban’s College and St Augustine’s LEAP School will also take part.

The schools named their team’s Sonke to signify their unity.

Refiloe Mamabolo, a Grade 11 learner from St. Alban’s College, said even though he was planning on going into medicine after school, he jumped at the opportunity to experience other fields.

Mamabolo said currently their car was in the final stages of being built.

He said upon deciding to take part their biggest challenge was in getting funding as elements such as solar panels ranged from R400 000 to a R1 million rather easily.

Despite this challenge he said improving alternative energy sources were a must for mankind.

“We are at a point where fossil fuels and gases are slowly running out and we need to look at alternatives so we can move forward as a species.”