The Michigan University team has yesterday been awarded first place in the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge, while second place went to the United Arab Emirates' Petroleum Institute (PI). It is the first time the UAE has been represented in a solar car challenge. Belgium's Punch Powertrain team took third place.
The USA team was announced winners during the opening ceremony of the Abu Dhabi World Future Energy Summit, part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).
Sponsored by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and hosted by Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, the event is part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. The first solar challenge competition to be held in the region, saw students from Australia, the Middle East, Europe, America and Asia compete in the cross-country road event.
Noah Kaczor, the driver who crossed the finish line for Michigan University, said, "It's a dream come true to have won the first ever Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge. This has been an incredible experience for us and we are thrilled that all our hard work has paid off. We faced tough competition from some great teams from all over the world. Abu Dhabi was an ideal location for an event like this, and we look forward to coming back for future events and hopefully defending our title!" After a qualifying stage at Yas Marina Circuit, the teams took to the roads of Abu Dhabi, to drive through the city and desert, using only sunlight as their fuel. They had to factor in a variety of elements and road conditions to get the best performance out of their cars.
Abdul Munim Al Kindy, Ceo of ADCO, said, "Congratulations to all of the teams who took part in the first Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge. Special congratulations to the winning team and those close behind in second and third, including our home team in second place. We at ADNOC are extremely proud to have brought the first ever solar challenge to the Middle East. The event has been a huge success and has showcased Abu Dhabi in all its glory and cemented its position as a global leader in energy efficiency and renewable energy. We look forward to welcoming even more teams for the event in the future." Masdar's global reputation as a renewable-energy pioneer helped bring the solar challenge to Abu Dhabi. The company's mission to advance clean energy, along with Abu Dhabi's role as an international energy hub, made the emirate an ideal location for the solar-car competition.
Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of Masdar, said, "We are proud to have hosted this iconic event and extend our congratulations to all of the teams involved, especially the winners, Michigan State. They can be proud of the determination and commitment they have demonstrated in winning. For the Petroleum Institute to finish second in their first ever solar challenge event is also a great achievement. We wish them all the best of luck for their next competition." "The Challenge has brought innovation in clean energy technology to life, and highlights Abu Dhabi's leadership in the sector. Its legacy will live on in the inspiring message it will deliver for young people across the country." Dan Eberle, Race Director, Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge, congratulated the University of Michigan on winning the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge. "It was a close run with less than five minutes separating them and the UAE team, the Petroleum Institute. The team performed fantastically in their debut solar competition. It is many years since we have seen a team do so well their first time out. They have done themselves and the country proud." "I'd also like to congratulate the rest of our competitors for a great Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge. The Challenge was conducted with the spirit and ethos of solar challenges around the world."