Solar Team sets Belgian record in World Cup qualifying round in Australia
Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin, Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2023
Saturday, 21 October - Today, the Innoptus Solar Team drove the qualifying round for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the world championship for solar cars taking place in Australia. They were able to set a time of 1:57.81, allowing them to start second in the race tomorrow.
KU Leuven students drove the qualifying lap today for the race starting tomorrow. They were able to complete the qualifying lap with the Infinite, the 10th Belgian solar car, in 1:57.81, setting a new Belgian record. The previous Belgian record was set in 2019 with the BluePoint. Thanks to this record time, they may start second in the race tomorrow.
"We just ran our qualifying lap, setting a top time. We set a new Belgian record. The team is very happy with this and we can start second tomorrow."
Olivier Vercammen (24, Niel), pilot at the Innoptus Solar Team
Tenth Belgian solar car
The team was able to set this record time thanks to the new, improved car. A lot of changes have been made compared to the 2019 solar car. The car shape has been changed to a streamlined bullet shape with only three wheels, leading to improved handling. In addition, work has been done on a self-developed engine. Thanks to these improvements and extensive preparation, the students managed to complete the qualifying lap even faster today.
"In recent years, we have innovated greatly on our solar cars. With this car, we have a better aerodynamic shape as well as a home-built, more efficient engine. This has given us the Belgian record and we hope the same innovations will give us a better performance during the race."
Stan Kelchtermans (25, Heusden-Zolder), Energy Engineer at the Innoptus Solar Team
The team will start their solar car tomorrow on their journey from Darwin to Adelaide. They will cross the continent and cover 3021 kilometres. The Belgians start as reigning world champions and will do everything they can to extend their world title. There are 38 teams participating from all over the world. The team expects to arrive in Adelaide on Thursday, 26 October.
"For fifteen months we have been working towards this. Tomorrow we embark on the biggest challenge of the adventure. We will cross the Australian Outback from Darwin to Adelaide, more than 3,000 kilometres, where we will look for the optimal balance between reliability and performance and hopefully arrive first in Adelaide."
Cedric Verlinden (23, Holsbeek), Team manager at the Innoptus Solar Team