The Punch Powertrain Solar Team clinched third place in the Challenger Class of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2017, which took place from 8 to 15 October in Australia. During the race, Punch Two - the experimental solar car designed by engineering students from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium - travelled 3,021 kilometres from Darwin to Adelaide with an average speed of 76.2 km/h. Cromax® is the Team’s Silver Partner, and Punch Two sported not only coatings from the brand, but also the brand’s logo.
“We are delighted to see that the team was able to advance the design and technical performance of its car allowing the Punch Two to improve from fifth place in the 2015 race,” said Dries Van den Bergh, Cromax Brand Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). “Cromax also upgraded its support to the Team from Bronze to Silver Partner status, providing it with our technical expertise and sharing our extensive motorsport experience.”
The Punch Two was painted in white, blue and green, all of which were specially developed for the team by Cromax. The solar car was painted at the Cromax Training Centre in Mechelen, Belgium, the brand’s EMEA training centre. Cromax technical specialists also helped the team to achieve its energy-saving goals by limiting energy use thanks to highly innovative paint systems from Cromax.
“Cromax is focused on helping bodyshops to improve productivity, so many Cromax products are designed to be air-dried, helping to optimise workflow processes and to save time. But this also allows for a reduction in energy consumption at every stage of paint application, and this was very important for the Team because it wanted to make Punch Two energy-efficient and sustainable, not only on the road but also during the entire manufacturing process,” says Van den Bergh.
And that focus paid off for the Team as they won the innovation award with their new four- wheel steering system that enabled them to "sail on the road", using the energy of the wind to gain some extra speed.
The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2017, is a world-famous competition of experimental solar cars that serves to encourage development and implementation of energy-efficient, zero-emission transportation technologies around the globe. During the race that takes place in Australia every two years, the cars must cross the continent, travelling for more than 3,000 kilometres, in one of the world's most challenging landscapes. The rules stipulate that 90% of the car’s energy should come from the sun or be recovered from the kinetic energy of the vehicle.