The Agoria Solar Team from the University of Leuven, Belgium, has become the World Champions by claiming its first-ever title in the Challenger Class of the biennial Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. The dramatic race, which saw several teams fall victim to bad luck during the course of the challenge, culminated in the coastal city of Adelaide in South Australia with BluePoint crossing the finish line on 17 October 2019 after a 3,020km journey from Darwin. Nineteen students from the Belgian university showcased their ingenuity in engineering and innovation in the manufacturing of the Team’s single seater solar car, BluePoint, which was painted by Silver Partner Cromax® and which sports the paint brand’s logo.
Kevin Torfs, Cromax Brand Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, says, “Congratulations to the whole team on this impressive achievement, we are all celebrating with them. It has been fantastic to support them once again with paint and technical expertise to prepare for this incredible challenge, and it is clear all the hard work has paid off.”
BluePoint’s victorious journey lasted 4 days, 3 hours and 52 minutes. After travelling at an average speed of 86.6 km/h, it charged across the finish line in Adelaide 12 minutes ahead of the runner up, Tokai University Solar Car Team.
Cromax worked with the Team to develop a new livery for BluePoint, which comprised solid white with two completely new and bespoke shades of blue to match the corporate colours of the main sponsor, Agoria. Painted at the Cromax Training Centre (CTC) in Mechelen, Belgium, BluePoint required a coating that would result in as little weight as possible on the carbon fibre substrate and one that would meet the Team’s sustainability goals – both of which were influencing decisions for the Team in choosing a paint partner. It was equally important to have a coating system that could withstand the strong winds, severe sandstorms and extreme heat during the race through Australia. The Cromax Ultra Performance Energy System was the obvious choice.
Torfs continues, “We are delighted to support students in their quest for innovation and to help them drive their productivity. We worked closely with the Team to ensure BluePoint’s aerodynamics were optimal and completely unaffected by the application of sponsors’ decals, which were placed under the clearcoat ensuring the coating provided excellent slip.”
The solar cars taking part in this competition truly are the most energy efficient vehicle, using a nominal 5kW hours of stored energy with the rest coming from the sun or recovered from the kinetic energy of the vehicle. “The competition is a great example of sustainability and energy-saving, which is something we strive for at Cromax,” adds Torfs.
The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge launched in 1987. This year students from 30 different universities across the world took part in the race. The 3,020km route included nine mandatory check points, where the teams stopped and performed basic maintenance. The fully self-sufficient participants travelled as far as they could until 5pm each day before setting up camp in the desert, wherever they were.
Torfs concludes, “Congratulations to everyone in the Agoria Solar Team on becoming World Champions for the first time. We promised them if they won that we would add a gorgeous, celebratory gold-colour stripe on BluePoint, so we look forward to having them back in the Cromax Training Centre in Belgium.”
For more information on the Agoria Solar Team and its car, BluePoint, visit www.solarteam.be and to find out how Cromax supports the Team visit www.cromax.com/eu. To find out more about the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge visit www.worldsolarchallenge.org.