WESTERN Sydney University will head to the United States with the backing of Bridgestone Australia and New Zealand, and a host of supporting partners, set to tackle two solar car events in July; the Formula Sun Grand Prix and American Solar Challenge.
The leading tyre company will supply the Western Sydney Solar Car Team with ‘Ecopia with ologic’ tyres for its ‘Unlimited 2.0’ solar car, which was designed and developed at the university’s Kingswood campus.
Western Sydney Solar Team is the first ever Australian team to embark on the Formula Sun Grand Prix and American Solar Challenge, following a sixth place finish in the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge – the world cup of the solar car community.
“We’re very excited to be the first Australian team in the history of the event. We think we’re going to go okay. We’re very confident in the pace of our car and the strength of our team,” said Western Sydney Solar Team Manager, Saami Bashar.
“With Bridgestone’s support, we’re very excited to be pushing our design to the limit in our first international race. A labour of love for the past three years, our car is held to the bitumen by four small patches of rubber, and we wouldn’t trust any other brand to deliver the required performance,” he added.
The Formula Sun Grand Prix is a track based competition taking place at Motorsport Park Hastings, Nebraska from 10-12 July, ahead of the 1,700 mile (2,700km) American Solar Challenge from Omaha, Nebraska to Bend, Oregon from 14-22 July.
Bridgestone’s support of Western Sydney University is in line with Bridgestone’s global ‘Our Way to Serve’ CSR initiative which focusses on mobility, people and the environment.
“Bridgestone is thrilled to be able to support Western Sydney University as it takes on these two events in America. They have already proved that Australian ingenuity, design and engineering is alongside the world’s best in the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, and we are delighted these bright young minds are so passionate to take it further,” said Bridgestone Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Andrew Moffatt.
“Bridgestone’s ‘Our Way to Serve’ initiative emphasises supporting youth, the development of sustainable mobility and environmental stewardship. Our support of Western Sydney Solar Team, as well as our title sponsorship of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, is a fantastic way to encourage development in all three areas,” he added.
Bridgestone’s Ecopia with ologic tyres aim to reach new levels of efficiency and meet the changing needs of cars, as electric vehicles rise in popularity.
The bi-annual Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, held over 3,000km from Darwin to Adelaide, serves as research and development for new Ecopia products such as the EP500 fitted to BMW’s small electric car, the i3.