UKZN gives SA’s best showing

2012-10-02 00:00

THE University of KwaZulu-Natal took third place in the 2012 Sasol Solar Challenge race, the first SA team.

The race took 13 teams 11 days, covering a distance of 5 400 km and totalling 109 hours on the road in solar-powered vehicles.

Race spokesperson Cheryl Reddy of Ogilvy Public Relations said North West University covered the longest distance in the Olympia class with 1 087,2 km on the clock, while UKZN gave the best showing from a South African team in the converted challenge class, covering 1 930,9 km.

World champions Tokai University of Japan won the race, with Shinozuka, also of Japan coming in a close second.

The race took teams from Pretoria to Vryburg and on to Upington, the soon to be solar capital of South Africa.

Nine South African teams entered the race, with North West University and the University of Johannesburg hybrid teams winning their respective classes.

UKZN were second in their class behind Tokai.

Reddy said the fact that the majority of the South African teams comprised undergraduate students is evidence that for the next race in 2014, more of the local teams will be able to mount a challenge against the Japanese sides.

“The event this year was an all-round success. In the beginning, many of our local teams were a little overwhelmed by the whole occasion, but we were happy that as the challenge progressed they came into their stride,” said race organiser Winstone Jordaan.

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