TAFE SA has rolled out the welcome mat and opened its shed doors to the powerhouse Dutch World Solar Challenge team in the lead-up to 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.
With the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge hitting the road in just over six weeks’ time, TAFE SA has played host to members of the reigning champion Dutch team in the lead up to this year’s race, who are in town preparing for the event.
Members of the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU Eindhoven) crew have been staying at TAFE SA’s Regency Park Campus and utilising local facilities, while also sharing information with TAFE SA’s World Solar Challenge Team.
TAFE SA Chief Executive, Robin Murt, said that having the Dutch crew on site provided many advantages for the TAFE SA team, who are still putting the finishing touches on their vehicle.
“TU Eindhoven are a very well-resourced and knowledgeable team, so it is great to have had them staying with us,” Mr Murt said.
“While they compete in the same class as us, Cruiser Class, there is no conflict, only collaboration. They have proven to be the team to beat in recent times so being able to learn from them has been valuable for our team.
“Aside from the race itself, the solar and renewal energy industries continue to grow, so sharing information with other international education institutions is extremely valuable.”
Team Manager of TU Eindhoven, Wout Gubbels, said that staying at TAFE SA’s Regency Campus provided perfect preparation for the team before heading to Darwin.
“It has been a real pleasure to stay here and having the facilities here has made our work so much easier to prepare for the challenge,” Mr Gubbels said.
“We have everything we need here, so we can prepare our equipment and we are building a trailer to transport our things to Darwin ready for the start.”
Even though TAFE SA is competing in the same vehicle class, Mr Gubbels said there had been no problem in sharing tips and information.
“They have a very different car to us, but it is fun to share ideas and thoughts, and compare what we are doing to what they are doing.”
Mr Gubbels also added that the team was aiming for third time lucky.
“This will be the third time that we have competed in this race, we have won the previous two times, so we are certainly aiming for the same result again.”
Now in its 30th year, the event has attracted 50 teams from 26 countries to compete in the 3000km car race from Darwin to Adelaide from October 8 - 15.
South Australian company Redarc Electronics is again major sponsor of TAFE SA’s participation. The World Solar Challenge is staged every two years and TAFE SA has participated in all but one Challenge since 1999.