Abu Dhabi Gearing Up For World ‘Solar Challenge’ Car Racing Event [Video]

Abu Dhabi is hosting what is considered to be the world’s greatest solar car event, namely the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge (ADSC). This first International Solarcar Federation event took off at Yas Marina Circuit in the United Arab Emirates Thursday.

Reuters reports the event is sponsored by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and hosted by Masdar, the renewable energy company, between January 15 and 19. The event leads the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), and will end with the opening ceremony of the World Future Energy Summit also set to take place in Abu Dhabi.

The solar car challenge — together with the week’s events as a whole — brings to the forefront innovation using clean technology, of which Abu Dhabi is currently a leader. The event will welcome student teams from America, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East, competing in a cross-country road event in their solar powered vehicles.

The event covers approximately 745 miles, and the vehicles will compete over the next four days for the championship title. The course includes both city and desert road driving, meaning it is definitely a challenge in an event where smooth and economical driving are key.

Starting and ending at the Yas Marina Circuit, the team who completes the qualifying lap in the fastest time will win a prestigious award.

Al Tareq Al Ameri, CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, told the media in a statement that they are thrilled to be the launch venue for such an important solar car event, saying that this is a great way to engage youth and wishing all the students luck in the race. He said that the event complements other activities, including their F1 in schools program.

Participating teams will undergo the qualifying round on Thursday on a track which has seen world famous F1 drivers in the past. To be able to move on to the on-road challenge starting January 16, all teams must successfully complete the qualifying round.

According to the Masdar Institute, Dr. Ahmad Belhout, CEO of Masdar, said in a press conference that the solar challenge brings clean technology to life, highlighting Abu Ahabi’s role in the sector, saying, “From cutting-edge vehicle technology to harnessing solar energy, the challenge exemplifies what human ingenuity can achieve.”

Masdar City itself was originally designed by the British architectural firm Foster and Partners, and relies totally on solar and other renewable energy sources. The city is aiming for a zero carbon footprint. The city is being constructed 11 miles outside of the city of Abu Dhabi, next to the Abu Dhabi International Airport. The video below gives more detail of the city.

In other energy-saving efforts, the Inquisitr reported recently that China has plans to strip-mine the moon for the rare isotope, Helium-3, in an attempt to solve the world’s energy crisis.

[Image: Screengrab from YouTube video]