Bridgestone World Solar Challenge finish line in
The official results aren’t out yet. Some teams are still on the road. But UKZN’s Solar Car, Hulamin, has successfully crossed the length of Australia from Darwin to Adelaide – all 3022 kilometres of it!
The exhausted yet ecstatic team of Durbanites crossed the finish line at 12.05pm Adelaide time on Friday 23 October. Unofficially, they have been placed 12th out of 42 starters, 29 of which raced in their ‘Challenger’ class.
The race took the team of UKZN Engineering students and staff 47 hours, 53 minutes and 59 seconds of actual driving, over five and a half days. First place went to Nuon Solar Team and second place to Solar Team Twente, both from the Netherlands. Team Tokai Challenger from Japan came third.
‘It was a tough race that required a lot of hard work,’ said Co Team Leader Dr Clinton Bemont. ‘We were on the go all the time and never had a chance to relax. Now I’m looking forward to a good shower, time to relax and a beer!’
‘The team is exhausted but happy to have finished two days before the cut off,’ said Academic Leader for Mechanical Engineering, Professor Glen Bright, who flew out especially from South Africa to meet the UKZN team at the finish line.
‘I am very proud of their achievements. While they had to deal with resource constraints, they still overcame many challenges along the route, to emerge as worthy UKZN and South African contestants.’
‘Well done to all the UKZN Solar Car team members and support group. You have done your University and country proud!’ he said.
‘We could not have done this without the help we got from all our supporters,’ said Ms Kirty Veale, the team’s other Co Leader. ‘Thank you!’
UKZN’s Dean of Engineering, Professor Cristina Trois, was full of praise. ‘I am very proud for this achievement and very excited about their return to South Africa,’ she said.
Patron of the UKZN Solar Car Project, Vice-Chancellor Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, was equally delighted. ‘This is wonderful news,’ he said. ‘My hearty congratulations to the whole team. We are all very proud of you for flying the UKZN flag high down under. Viva Halumin Viva.’