Blog Bridgestone WSC® 2015

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge: Race Overview

In the summer of 2014 the newly recruited team of 16 students started designing the ‘Punch One’, the sixth Belgian solar car.

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Fastest Belgian solar car finishes fifth in World Championship

The Punch Powertrain Solar Team, KU Leuven's entry in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, finished the 5 day race across the Australian outback in an impressive fifth place. "This is a great culmination of a year and a half of hard work," says team manager Jarno Van Hemelen.

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Bad Luck

The Punch Powertrain Solar Team had another day of bad luck in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of the three connection points where the rear wheel was connected to the car, broke off. Driving the car was not possible untill the problem was fixed. The students lost time, but are still fifth in the race.

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Students of Belgian Solar Team determined to catch up

The Punch Powertrain Solar Team got a one hour penalty in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. According to the organization one of the support vehicles abruptly overtook another solar car. The Belgian students disagree with that decision. Despite the penalty, the Belgian solar car is still in fifth position.

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Battle for first position

In Australia, The Punch Powertrain Solar Team fights for the first position in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. The team ended the second day of the race on the fifth position but only 20 mintues behind the leading team, Team Twente from the Netherlands. The solar race never has been this epic.

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Fifth place after flat tire

The Belgian Punch Powertrain Solar Team is in fifth position after the first racing day of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the officious world championship for solar cars. After a smooth start the students of the University of Leuven drove in second position. After the team had a flat tire the Belgian team lost three places. The five best ranked teams are close to each other. “Everything is still possible”, the students say.

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We will start as fourth!

Great news from Down Under: we got fourth during the qualification today. This means that the Punch One will start at fourth position in the Bridgestone World Solar Challege.

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Our new secret weapon

Because the sun isn't the only thing that powers our car! There is a lot more than only building the car. You need a strong team to make it to the finish.

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Tested and approved

Today our solar car underwent official technical tests. In the lingo, we call testing ‘scrutineering’. The car gets thoroughly examined by race officials.

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Testing, testing and even more testing

Last week the time had finally arrived: we were allowed to test our very own Punch One on the public road. The days before we were all very excited. There were a lot of questions to be answered: Was the car really as reliable as we thought? How would the car react to the Australian climate? And did we really built a top car?

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Bert Longin will be a pilot of the Punch Powertrain Solar Team

Great news: Belgian Nascar driver Bert Longin announced that he will be coming to Australia to drive our solar car during the race. Next to Joren and Dokus he will be our third pilot that will drive in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

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Interview with our main sponsor: Punch Powertrain

Punch Powertrain is the main sponsor of the Punch Powertrain Solar Team. Together with CEO Cor Van Otterloo and COO Marc de Wind we discuss the growth of their company and the choice to sponsor Punch Powertrain Solar Team.

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Transport to Australia

The transport of the solar car and material has always been a very important part in the preparation for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. This year we got a lot of help from our sponsor DHL Global Forwarding.

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Arrival in Darwin

Exactly one week ago most of the team members arrived in Darwin after already three team members travelled from Adelaide to Darwin to map the race the other way around. A great moment to write down what we did since we arrived here.

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Team Interviews: Tom De Haseleer

Tom De Haseleer is in his final year of Electromechanical Engineering Sciences at the University of Leuven at Campus Group T. Together with his colleague Stef Vermeulen, he is in charge of the Aerodynamics Department at Punch Powertrain Solar Team.

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Team Interviews: Thomas Mertens

Thomas Mertens is in his final year of Electromechanical Engineering Sciences at the University of Leuven Campus Group T. Together with his colleague Bob Verschueren, he is in charge of the motor of the Punch One at Punch Powertrain Solar Team.

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Team Interviews: Stef Vermeulen

Stef Vermeulen is in his final year Electromechanical Engineering Sciences at the University of Leuven at Campus Group T. At Punch Powertrain Solar Team he is responsible for the department Aerodynamics & Strategy.

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Team Interviews: Sam De Wel

Sam De Wel is in his final of Electronic Engineering Sciences at the University of Leuven at Campus Group T. He is responsible for the Structural Design of the Punch One.

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Team Interviews: Ruben Dhondt

Ruben Dhondt is in his final year of Engineering Sciences at the University of Leuven at Campus Group T. Together with his colleague Lukas Fierens he is responsible for the High and Low Voltage of the Punch One at Punch Powertrain Solar Team.

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Team Interviews: Robbe Craeninckx

Robbe Craeninckx will graduate next year at his course of Engineering Sciences with a specialisation in Intelligent Manufacturing. This is one year later than most of his fellow students, because of his participation in the Punch Powertrain Solar Team.

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Wind tunnel testing at Onera

With the car up and running and the visit of King Philippe of Belgium behind us, it’s time to test our car. Wind tunnel tests are the first tests the car will undergo.

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Team Interviews: Mathijs Mariën

Mathijs Mariën is in his final year Electronics Engineering, specialising in in Intelligent Electronics at the University of Leuven at Campus Group T. At Punch Powertrain Solar Team, he is responsible for the Solar Panels of the Solar Car.

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Team Interviews: Lukas Fierens

Lukas Fierens is in his final year of Engineering Sciences Electronics at the Catholique University of Leuven at Campus Group T and is specialised in Intelligent Electronics. Together with his colleague Ruben Dhondt, he is responsible for the department High & Low Voltage at Punch Powertrain Solar Team.

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Team Interviews: Kaylian De Lange

Kaylian De Lange is in his final year of his Master Industrial Engineering, with a specialization in electromechanics. Together with his colleague Brend Sas, he is responsible for the Mechanical Systems of the Solar Car.

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Team Interviews: Karel Winderickx

Karel Winderickx is in his final year of Electronical Engineering Sciences at the University of Leuven at Campus Group T. Karel is responsible for the PR and Events of the Punch Powertrain Solar Team.

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Team Interviews: Joren De Wilder

Joren De Wilder is in his final year of his Master of Electronics and ICT Engineering Technology at the University of Leuven. He is responsible for the corporate relations and the Finances in the Solar Team.

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Assembly

Team Interviews: Jonas Meyvis

Jonas Meyvis is in his final year of Engineering Sciences Electronics and is responsible for the monitoring and ICT at Punch Powertrain Solar Team

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Team Interviews: Jarno Van Hemelen

Jarno Van Hemelen is in his final year of his master in Electronical Engineering and is Team Manager at Punch Powertrain Solar Team

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Team Interviews: Dokus Soetemans

Dokus Soetemans is in his final year ofhis Master of Electromechanical Engineering Technology and is the Production Manager and Head Mechanics of the Solar Team

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Team Interviews: Bob Verschueren

Bob Verschueren is in his final year of his Master of Electromechanical Engineering Technology and is responsible for the Motor of the Solar Car together with his colleague Thomas Mertens. Apart from this, he is also responsible for the logistics department of the team.

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Team Interviews: Brend Sas

Brend Sas is in his final year of Electromechanics and is in charge of the car’s Mechanical Systems. He does this together with his fellow student Kaylian De Lange.

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