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European Solar Challenge 2014


As a first group we arrived on the first hours of Wednesday, at midnight, and we had to quickly rent 2 autos for the requirement during the event. After the renting we crossed to the camping area where the organization had set for us. When we arrived to the track our solar car had been lowered to the track by Punch Power Train Team. We owe them a great thank all of you. We put up our tents in the camping area. Unfortunately the weather was not so good. At this Wednesday night, we picked them up to the camping area. First day has passed like that.

The race has begun with the meetings held in different categories. One person from every team attended different meetings, for example; race commission meetings, strategy team meetings... This was actually quite good for collecting information from each team. Sometimes we had some decisions that we could change the arrangements the race rules. For example; the biggest decision is to come together different classes into the single race, cruiser and challenger classes. The first training on the real track was allowed only for testing the vehicles and warm up the drivers to the track.

After the intensive meetings and the training, in the evening, there was a dinner which includes every team members. That was a really good opportunity for introducing for each team and meeting closer.

At Friday, the scrutineering had begun. The vehicles passed to challenging statics and dynamics tests. The test contains; height of the car, visibility of windows, signalizing, dimensions, driver weighing, brake and acceleration test, mainly. Every team successfully passed all tests. During the tests, the strategy, safety, management meetings were also performed. But there is still some uncertainties about the rules. The teams were not so much pleased for this uncertainties, on the other hand, collecting the opinions were also impressive. However,  in the evening there were training on the track was allowed just for test drives.
We didn't participate this training because of our battery capacity. We wanted to preserve our capacity as well as possible. We were using two different battery group; different series, specification and brand. The reason was to participate to the recently race called Moroccan Solar Challenge. So we had not the most appropriate batteries. In this evening we made the insulation against the rain. However, fortunately we didn't have to use the insulation system which is the transparent nylon cover.

The race was consisting of 4 stages.


The first stage was the "long rung". This stage was created to see the some limits of cars. This stage took one whole day. It started 08:30 and finished 19:00 o'clock. There was a pause about 1 hours. We started well, but at the middle of the run, our battery was about to run out of the capacity. All teams was allowed to charge their car at the charging area. We entered 3 times to the charging area. We did never give up to challenge. We knew the best option is to go on !

At about 18:55 our car had stopped at the track last time and we turned to the pit lane and all teams were waiting for us. That was a great time to be welcomed from every team. We wanted to thank to Bochum University to give us the trailer when every time our car has stopped in the track.

During the long run, it was expected to make the fastest lap from all teams for the second stage of the race called "short run". Our short run time was 03:48 minutes/tour. Also, the third stage had finished. The third stage was "presentation". Each team had represented their original parts of the car or idea. Our theme was about the our self design and product MPPT systems. Unfortunately, we didn't get any point from this stage. The last stage was "Chicane". This stage mainly consists of cars' acceleration, brake and maneuver performs.

In contrast to our misfortune of battery, this stage shows how cars are well mechanically. In the end of the race we were second place. This results were not expected from many teams because of the long run. However, our happiness could not be described.

The time was to announce the winners of the race. We expected our ranking. We were 5th place in the ranking. But, when we were announced and went to the platform, one surprise was waiting for us. The race committee was awarded us as "Spirit of The Event". Because we did never give up the race and we didn't think of that.  At that time we were deeply touched by this award.  With the T-shirt, this award is a source of pride. We thank you again to all teams to honor us.


This race was really extraordinary and full of excitement for us and all teams. The different things has been happened. We met us and learn how to survive to the last. No doubt,  the "Spirit of the Sun" has affected to other like Chris Selwood (World Solar Challenge event director), Jeroen Haringman ( founder), Frans Joseph Joosten (ESC 2014 organizatior) European Solar Challenge committee and all volunteers, solar energy followers and supporters who support the events and the teams. We wish to see us for next adventure !

Wish sunny days,
Team Solaris