New name, same goal: Brunel Solar Team ready to break boundaries
For the first time in its existence, the solar team from Delft has a new main sponsor: multidisciplinary service provider Brunel. Together with this proud new main sponsor, the team will travel to South Africa to participate in the Sasol Solar Challenge. "So far, in South Africa we have won and we are determined to continue this trend in September" said team leader Sanne Vilters.
The team finds itself in a unique situation: Vattenfall is saying farewell after more than twenty years. The last few years were not easy for the people from Delft. The loss of NunaX (just before the finish), the corona crisis and a third place in the Solar Challenge Morocco are still fresh in their minds. Nevertheless, the team has a positive outlook on the future. Sanne Vilters speaks out with hope: "It was difficult to see how the previous team struggled with the Moroccan landscape. However, we learned a lot from the race in Morocco by analyzing it extensively. Just when the competition was one step ahead of us we feel the need to innovate more than ever. We have chosen to race in South Africa this year, because this is where we expect our biggest competitors to be. We are highly motivated and we are eager to show the potential our solar car and our team have!"
Farewell title sponsor
Energy supplier Vattenfall has supported the solar team as the main sponsor since its inception in 1999. After more than 20 years, that close cooperation is now coming to an end. Vilters: "We always race in Australia one year and in South Africa the next. In Australia we became world champions seven times and in South Africa we won all three times we participated. We have experienced all this together with Vattenfall, which is very unique. We are grateful to them for their trust and support". The baton has now been handed over to Brunel; a technical company at heart that, like the team, was founded in Delft. Niels van Rhenen, Managing Director Brunel Netherlands: "The experience, the team spirit and the drive with which the Brunel Solar Team pursues its ideals are a good fit with Brunel. With the Brunel Solar Team we bring talent, development and technology together and take a step towards a sustainable future!"
Nuna to South Africa
In September, the team will participate in the Sasol Solar Challenge in South Africa for the fourth time. The route runs from Johannesburg in the north to Stellenbosch in the south, covering more than 2,300 kilometers. Solar teams from all over the world compete for 8 days while braving the rugged landscape. Vilters: "During the race we encounter many different conditions. The race takes place on four-lane highways, but also leads over narrow roads and bridges. In addition, the weather in South Africa can be very unpredictable. All this, together with the strong competitors, forms the perfect mix for an exciting race".
The team presented itself today via a livestream and wants to break boundaries. "Although we are reusing the chassis of the previous team’s car, there is a lot of room for improvement. A lot of systems inside the car are going to be revamped," says Vilters. She continues: "It is a great advantage that the car has already been raced, this provides us with the opportunity to optimize and perfect. We will do this by pushing the limits of technology. We will continue to innovate and show what can be achieved with sustainable technology.