Leuven solar car wins 24-hour endurance race on Zolder circuit – IT Pro – News

After last year, the Belgian team of the KU Leuven has also won the race at the Zolder circuit this year. During this championship for solar cars, called the iLumen European Solar Challenge 2021, the car of Solar Team Twente finished second.

The Agoria Solar Team from Leuven is back with this became European champion. The students of the team managed to complete the highest number of laps within the set time of 24 hours. The team from Twente came in second after completing 344 laps. Solar Team Twente thus finished two laps behind the Leuven students. They completed 346 laps, covering 1384 kilometers in 24 hours. A total of nine solar cars took part.

The difference was mainly made by tactical choices. The team from Twente chose to top up the car twice during the race at night in the hope of better lap times, while the team from Leuven only did that once. This meant that the car of the Flemish students stood still for less time and could drive on for longer. The participating teams are only allowed to drive on solar energy during the day and stop at night for a maximum of two times during an hour to recharge.

According to Solar Team Twente, it also didn’t help that a number of times a pit stop had to be made for minor maintenance. They also said they suffered from a torn tire due to loose parts on the circuit and a steering wheel change was necessary. Agoria Solar Team also had problems, albeit that this happened before the race. On Friday evening, the solar car had to swerve during test rounds due to an ‘unexpected maneuver’ by another team, causing damage to the suspension. In the end, the recovery was done quickly enough to be able to participate in the race anyway.

Solar cars from 2019 were used for the race. In the case of Leuven it was the earlier Bluepoint car and in the case of Twente it was the RED E. In Twente the team members were also alumni. That’s because the current team is working on the final preparations for the Solar Challenge Marocco with their current car. This is an alternative 2500km solar car race that will start from 25 October in the Moroccan coastal town of Agadir. This race takes place because the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia was canceled earlier. The cars participating in this will have a different design than the cars of 2019. They will mostly be three-wheelers, while the cars from two years ago all had four wheels due to the rules at the time.

KU Leuven Zolder

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