TOKYOBridgestone Corp. will be the title sponsor of the World Solar Challenge 2013, an 1,800-mile race across Australia for solar-powered vehicles.
Bridgestone said it expects a record 45 teams from 26 nations to compete in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2013, starting Oct. 6 in Darwin on Australia's north coast and ending Oct. 13 in Adelaide on the south coast.
Financial terms of the sponsorship deal were not disclosed. Bridgestone did not say what, if any, tires it might provide.
This year's event will be the 12th running of the race since 1987 and will feature three classes:
c Adventure Class for three-wheeled, one-passenger cars built for previous events;
c Michelin Cruiser Class for four-wheeled vehicles designed for two occupants, judged for design practicality; and
c GoPro Challenger Class for four-wheeled, one-passenger vehicles competing for overall title.
The event is based on the original notion that a 1000W car would complete the journey in 50 hours, so solar cars are allowed a nominal 5kW hours of stored energy, which is 10 percent of that theoretical figure. All other energy must come from the sun or be recovered from the kinetic energy of the vehicle, according to event documents.
The elite Challenger class is conducted in a single stage from Darwin to Adelaide. Once the teams have left Darwin they must travel as far as they can until 5 p.m. when they make camp wherever they happen to be. Other classes have different requirements, but all teams must be fully self-sufficient.
During the journey there are seven mandatory check points where observers are changed and team managers may update themselves with the latest information on the weather and their own position in the field. Here teams may perform the most basic of maintenance onlychecking and maintenance of tire pressure and cleaning of debris from the vehicle.
There are also undisclosed check points that may be imposed by the event officials to ensure regulatory compliance.
Among the entries in the Challenger Class is the Tushka Hashi from Mississippi Choctaw High School, a school for native Americans in Choctaw, Miss. The name means sun warrior in Choctaw.