Two of the teams competing in the bi-annual Pretoria to Cape Town Sasol Solar Challenge smashed records on the first day.

As the race kicked off this weekend, North-West University broke the record for the longest distance covered in a single day by a South African team, travelling 560 kilometres in their custom-built Siriusx25. The previous record was set by the UKZN team in 2012 when it travelled 300 kilometres.

However, Dutch team Nuon broke the record for the furthest distance travelled overall by a solar-powered car in a single day – with a distance of 707 kilometres. The previous record for that, was set by the Japanese with 658 kilometres.

The South African team is still 147 kilometres short of the overall record, but we are confident that the crown will come to South Africa pretty soon.

“This is only the first day of the eight-day event, and we look forward to many more records being broken,”said Sasol Solar Challenge director Winstone Jordaan.

“This year’s Sasol Solar Challenge has some of the most competitive teams ever to compete on South African roads, and it’s encouraging to see how driven they are to take the Challenge to a new level.”

It wasn’t all great news for local teams; the Deutsche Schule Johannesburg team was forced to withdraw before the race started on Saturday.

“After being among four solar cars to fail the tough scrutinising process, the team decided it would not be able to make the necessary reparations to their vehicle in time given to compete,” the Solar Challenge explained in a press statement.

Out of interest, the ZingBug that we wrote about on Friday managed to cover 28 kilometres.

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.