Dutch solar drivers acclimatise for outback race

20-Oct-2015

The car’s cockpit can heat up to 50 degrees. Pictured: Solar Team Twente electrical engineer Wouter Put

The car’s cockpit can heat up to 50 degrees. Pictured: Solar Team Twente electrical engineer Wouter Put


Dutch university students worked out in winter woollies in preparation for the world’s biggest solar car race in the scorching Australian outback.

The 19 students from Solar Team Twente took residency at Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina campus before competing in the week-long World Solar Challenge, which began on Sunday.

Team race leader Irene Van den Hof said the drivers wore jumpers and hats while training to adjust to the sweltering heat expected during the Darwin-to-Adelaide race, stretching almost 3000 km.

Ms Van den Hof said the car’s cockpit could reach 50 degrees, with only a small hole for fresh air to provide slight relief to drivers.

“After test-driving the car, the drivers said they felt a bit dizzy but it could have been a lot worse if they hadn’t trained while wearing warm clothing,” she said.

“They get very sweaty, so we have a lot of water in the car.” 

The team lodged at CDU for six weeks and used its mechanical facilities while training and working on their 149 kg “Red One” solar car.

Ms Van den Hof said the team included four drivers who would rotate driving every four hours and a convoy of 11 cars with mechanics, strategists, weather meteorologists and scout drivers.

She said the team members enjoyed their time on campus and thanked CDU metal trades and maritime thematic team leader Rohan Badenhop for assisting them during their stay.

Mr Badenhop said CDU has supported the team during the past four races and was proud to continue to do so this year.

He said the School of Trades provided Solar Team Twente and other teams with basic engineering trade services such as welding, machining and soldering solutions.

Contact us

Media and Communications
Casuarina campus
Orange 12.3.20