A new solar car racing team from the South West is looking to represent the UK around the world.

“Britain now has some of the world’s best engineer talent”


Solar Team GB is looking to be the first UK team to win the prestigious Bridgestone World Solar Challenge race across Australia. The team has members from Bristol University, Bath University, Airbus, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and defence research company QinetiQ.

“With many of the world’s leading racing teams, car manufacturers and supporting technology companies either headquartered in the UK or having significant R&D operations, Britain now has some of the world’s best engineer talent,” said Steven Heape, founder and team manager (third from left above, outside @Bristol).

He adds, “By creating a British, rather than a British-university team, we are able to work with this talent regardless of where they are based. With the 2017 regulations newly announced, we are now looking to collaborate with these companies and universities as well as starting our sponsorship drive.”

The solar car race route across Australia in 2017

Racing AUS: The planned solar car race
route across Australia in 2017

Research is underway for the design of a family sized car to compete with other teams from around the world from 3,022 km from Darwin, on Australia’s north coast, to Adelaide, on its south, in October next year. This ‘Cruiser’ class in the competition has been won in the last two events by the Eindhoven University of Technology with an average speed last year of 76.73 km/h (47.68 mph).

Key stages:
5th June 2016 – Bridgestone World Solar Challenge announced the 2017 regulations document
October 2016 – reconnaissance trip to analyse the route
January 2017 – design complete and production commences
31 March 2017 – closing date for entries
April 2017 – prototype ready for testing
July 2017 – car shipped to Australia
8th October 2017 – race begins, with the winning cars expected on the 12th October

You can see more at the www.solarteamgreatbritain.org.uk website, or by following them on Twitter here: @solarteamgb.