Prime Mover Magazine

Solar car race draws on Kenworth C509 for safety insights

A Kenworth C509 has been part of safety evaluations on the Hidden Valley racetrack in conjunction with a trio of solar cars as part of preparation for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

The 3,000 kilometre race between Darwin and Adelaide on the Stuart Highway involves competitors passing roadtrains and the testing, which featured Jeff Fulwood, a member of the National Road Transport Hall of Fame, piloting the Kenworth commercial vehicle, shared practical tips such as line of sight, maintaining consistent speeds, communication and signalling while being overtaken and overtaking a roadtrain. 

Part of Fulwood's role was to impress upon teams the size and weight of these rigs and the extra distances they need to stop safely.

"I’ve been in the road transport industry since I was seventeen, If there’s one message I’d like to share today, it’s the value of patience,’ he said.

"Be patient, wait for the right time to pass, don’t cut in front of a roadtrain and don’t overtake a turning roadtrain – you need to give them space and time,’ said Fulwood.

ATN Solar Team’s Priscilla, Western Sydney University’s Unlimited 3.0 and Hong Kong team IVE’s Sophie 6, took part in the safety demonstration.

BWSC Event Director Chris Selwood AM said road safety is an absolute priority for the Event

"Knowing how important road safety is to the BWSC and professional drivers, we got together with the Event, fellow teams, local Kenworth dealer, Simon Cameron from CID Equipment and Malcolm Bishop from Nighthawk Transport to organise a ‘first-hand’ demonstration,’ he said.

"We work very closely with the governments of both the Northern Territory and South Australia to ensure our competitors are clearly briefed on road safety and the conditions they might encounter," he said.

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