World Solar Challenge: the drama never stops


Nuon makes Cambridge very happy (photo: Michel van Baal)

In recent events during the WSC race preparation:

A drama-free moment: team 25 (Goko High School) tests their car at Hidden Valley


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World Solar Challenge: Car Numbers

I’ve been wondering about the meaning of car numbers in the World Solar Challenge (see table above). Nine of them I understand:

21 Solar Team Twente

Twente’s number (21) is a pun and a wish for success in the race (“Twente-One”).

46 JU Solar Team

82 Kookmin University Solar Team

The Swedish team (46) and the Korean team (82) have used their national telephone prefix as a car number.

40 Solar Team Eindhoven

In a closely related choice, Eindhoven’s number (40) is their telephone area code.

33 Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education

The Hong Kong IVE team takes their number (33) from the fact that the Hong Kong Vocational Training Council was founded 33 years ago.

35 University of Minnesota

Minnesota’s number (35) has been in use since its very first car (Aurora I, which raced in 1993). According to a comment made on this post, the number is taken from the route of that first race, which roughly followed Interstate Highway 35. Another story is that it was the first car’s speed (35 mph).

51 Kanazawa Institute of Technology

Kanazawa’s car is version 5.1 in their series of cars, and they have chosen the car number 51 to match.

80 Beijing Institute of Technology

I assume that the Chinese team has chosen number 80 because it is lucky.

88 Kogakuin University

In the team’s own words: “Our team number is 88. Why?? There are several reasons for that. 4 wheels looks like 88. 88 is the lucky number in Japanese character (kanji). And also, the address of our team garage is Hachioji city. ‘Hachi’ means ‘eight.’”

I have no idea what the meaning of most of the car numbers from other teams might be – although I could guess at a few. I’d welcome explanations in the comments!

Update: added numbers 33, 35, and 88.