Belgian team unveils composite solar racer

Punch 2, made by the Punch Powertrain Solar Team at the University of Leuven in Belgium, compete in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in October.

BASEL, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Punch Powertrain Solar Team, comprised of engineering students from the University of Leuven in Belgium, unveiled its entry for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, which will take place in Australia Oct. 8-15, 2017.

The car - Punch 2 - was presented at an official ceremony on June 21. The event revealed the new-look paintwork in white, blue and green, all of which were specially developed for the team by Cromax, one of the three premium refinish brands of Axalta Coating Systems, a supplier of liquid and powder coatings. The waterborne formulation and highly productive Cromax refinish system is aligned with the sustainability agenda behind the annual solar powered race. The livery includes the team’s new mascot — a boxing kangaroo.

“Building the Punch 2 was the most intense 12 months of our lives. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved and very grateful for the support we received from Cromax,” says Robert Kuchera, business relations and events for Punch Powertrain Solar Team.

Cromax worked with the student team throughout the production process in order to achieve the best final look and weight for the carbon fiber composite car body. All of Punch 2’s painting was carried out in May and June by the team at Axalta’s Cromax Training Centre in Mechelen, Belgium.

Dries Van den Bergh, Cromax brand manager Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), says, “As Silver Partner to the team, we supply not only technical know-how and paint, but also help it to achieve its energy-saving goals by limiting energy use during paint application. But moreover, the partnership aligns with Axalta’s commitment to sustainability by supporting next generation vehicles that can offer a reduced environmental footprint.”

One of the challenges was to get the highest quality paint finish while keeping weight to a minimum. To maintain the best possible aerodynamics, a senior Belgian Cromax Technician will airbrush the new boxing kangaroo mascot onto the front fender. The Cromax logo will also be featured on the car as well as the team’s clothing, support convoy, and publicity material.