Sat, Sep 02, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan gears up for solar car race


Chang Kuo-pao, director of the technology and vocation department of the Ministry of Education, sits in a solar car in Taipei yesterday to promote the upcoming 2006 World Solar Rally, which will be held from Sept. 15 to Sept. 21.


The first international solar car race to be held in the country will commence in Kaohsiung on Sept. 15, with 10 teams from six countries -- the US, Japan, Germany, Iran, Turkey and Taiwan -- competing in the "environmentally friendly" race.

Three local teams are joining the 580km race, dubbed the "2006 World Solar Rally," according to the event's organizer, the National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences.

Herchang Ay (艾和昌), a professor at the university who heads the Apollo team, said he expected one of the three local teams to bag the second prize, with the Japanese team widely regarded as the team to beat.

The Japanese team will attempt to break the solar car world speed record of 150kph on the Chiayi leg of the race, according to the organizer.

The racers will set off from Kaohsiung, heading south toward Pingtung County before turning north toward Tainan County and Chiayi, then turning south again toward Tainan, passing through Kaohsiung County before crossing the finishing line in Kaohsiung City on Sept. 21.

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