A solar car racing year

Here is a salute to the winners of the major solar car races this year:

Congratulations to Equipo Solar KAN, Michigan, Twente, and Nuon… and looking forward to seeing teams from across the world in Australia a year from now!


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6 thoughts on “A solar car racing year

  1. It’s always overlooked because of the language difficulties and because it’s hard to find the results, but as far as I can tell Kogakuin won the World Green Challenge in Akita.

    As a 24 hour race(over three days) I think it deserves to also be considered a major challenge.

    • I did attempt to include the World Green Challenge, but I was unable to find any authoritative information on competitors and results. What little information I could find about the event was in Japanese, which unfortunately I cannot read (I tried Google Translate, but that just turned it into incomprehensible gibberish).

      So apologies to my Japanese readers, and congratulations to Kogakuin, if they indeed were the winners.

      • It’s always very difficult to get anything authoritative on the Japanese and, indeed, the Turkish races. As you say, google translate doesn’t work very well with many of the eastern languages. The only information that I was able to glean came from Kogakuin in the August edition of their Monthly Report where they say that they won and broke the laps/distance record. News photos seem to confirm that they won but little else.

        I’m hoping that the advent of the global rankings will soon shed more light on some of the least accessible (for us)
        races.

      • I’m not a fan of the global rankings concept. There is the WSC (head and shoulders above other competitions), there are the continental-class races (e.g. the four on the chart), and there are purely national races. I don’t think it makes sense to combine results of those – 18th place at the WSC means more than 8th place at the ASC, for example.

  2. I agree that the WSC should count for more than any other race, more for the calibre of the competitors than for the difficulty of the challenge. On the other hand I think that what you refer to as national races would be classed as such more because other nationalities tend not to take part than that they are not welcome.

    Maybe if there was an incentive of ranking points more teams might choose to travel to these events. There are already teams around like Onda, Solaris and Socrat who venture out to the less well known events and this can only help spread the news.

    Also, as big a challenge as the Atacama event is, you have to question its importance if there are only three teams taking part in the main event.

    • My personal opinion is that we have too many events. A typical top team might do the WSC plus one other race. If they have more money than average, their second race might be overseas as well. I have also noticed a tendency by some top teams to just focus on the WSC, skipping even their national race. This may reflect both the enormous time commitment involved in designing a car for the WSC and the fact that money is increasingly scarce. Of course, some other teams skip the WSC and only attend second-tier events, which allows them to keep racing an older car.

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