Innoptus Solar Team - Belgians on top after dream start in World Cup Australia

Elliott, Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2023

Saturday, 22 October - Today, we took the lead after the first day of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the world solar car championship taking place in Australia. We started in second place after our great qualifying lap yesterday and finished the day as number one thanks to a perfectly executed strategy.

Strong Start

We were allowed to start second in the race today and are at the start as defending champions after becoming world champions at the previous edition in 2019. During the first hour of the race, we were able to overtake the leaders (the team from Aachen) and take the lead of the standings thanks to excellent team cooperation.

"We started second today. After an hour, we caught up with the team from Aachen, after which we increased the lead each time. We therefore finished first today."
Wout Deckers (23, Leuven), Energy Engineer with the Innoptus Solar Team


Throughout the day, we faced the challenges of the dry Australian Outback. Forest fires in the nearby area forced us to briefly reduce the speed of our solar car, the Infinite, to ensure pilot safety due to limited visibility. During the day, we managed to maintain their first place and were even able to increase our lead.

"Today the start went very smoothly as well as the two media stops we did afterwards. We had therefore practised this very often which allowed us to optimise every second and cover the distance as quickly as possible."
Jochen Valcke (25, Vilvoorde), Operations Manager at the Innoptus Solar Team 

Looking Ahead

Currently, the top 3 of the world championship is dominated by the Low Countries. Besides us, the top 3 is completed by the teams from Delft and Twente. In the coming days, we will do everything they can to keep their first place. This will not be easy due to the strong opposition and extreme weather conditions we have to endure. Tomorrow is the hottest day on the programme. The heat will ensure that the pilots and the solar car will be put to the test. We expect to arrive in Adelaide on Thursday.

"Driving through the Australian Outback is quite a challenge. One of the things we have here is the hot weather, so today we saw a bushfire that we got through just fine. Tomorrow they are predicting even slightly warmer weather. We hope to get through these temperatures as well."
Simon Decat (22, Holsbeek), Solar panel engineer with the Innoptus Solar Team

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