THE PUNCH POWERTRAIN SOLAR TEAM UNVEILS THIS YEAR’S ENTRY TO BRIDGESTONE WORLD SOLAR CHALLENGE
The Punch Powertrain Solar Team, comprised of engineering students from the University of Leuven, unveiled its entry for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, which takes place in Australia from 8 to 15 October 2017. The car - Punch 2 - was presented at an official ceremony for the press on the 21 June 2017. The event, which took place at Planckendael Zoo in Mechelen, Belgium, revealed the new-look car that’s painted in white, blue and green, all of which were specially developed for the Team by Cromax. The livery also includes the Team’s new mascot - a boxing kangaroo.
Cromax, the Team’s Silver Partner and one of the premium refinish brands of Axalta Coating Systems (NYSE: AXTA), a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, has been working closely with the Team since April.
“Following our partnership with the Team for the 2015 World Challenge, we knew we wanted to support it again. This time, as Silver Partner, we are supplying not only technical know-how and paint, but also helping the Team to achieve its energy saving goals by limiting energy use during paint application,” says Dries Van den Bergh, Cromax Brand Manager Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
The car’s carbon fibre body, however, presented some challenges due to an experimental resin. Cromax was able to address this by using its PS1081/PS1084/PS1087 Ultra Performance Energy Surfacer. In combination with activated Cromax Pro Basecoat and CC6700 Ultra Performance Energy Clearcoat, everything was air dried, which helped to save energy consumption.
Van den Bergh adds, “Our aim was to get the highest quality paint build-up while keeping weight to a minimum, which is crucial for the race. All of Punch 2’s painting was carried out in May and June by the team at the Cromax Training Centre in Mechelen.”
To maintain the best possible aerodynamics, Senior Belgian Field Technician, Eduardo Murillo will airbrush the new boxing kangaroo mascot onto the front fender for the race to minimise the difference in thickness between the paint and the decals.
Robert Kuchera, Business Relations and Events for Punch Powertrain Solar Team, says, “Building the Punch 2 was the most intense 12 months of our lives. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved and very grateful for the support we received from Cromax.”
Cromax worked with the student team throughout the production process in order to achieve the best final look and weight for the carbon fibre car body. Under the Silver partnership agreement, which runs until 2018, the Cromax logo will be on show on the car, the team’s clothing, support convoy and publicity material.