The BWSC Supporters, a group of wide-ranging creators and artists introduce the highlights of the tournament.


An illustrator who loves drawing women, animals, fashion related things as well as comics and portraits.

One minute guide to BWSC! CHIYAKI, the illustrator asks a member of Kogakuin University Solar Team for the highlights of the race

CHIYAKI, the illustrator went to the Bridgestone event exhibiting a solar car perticipated in the previous BWSC race! CHIYAKI asked a member of Kogakuin University Solar Team for the highlights of BWSC.

CHIYAKI:An illustrator who loves koalas. It’s the first time CHIYAKI sees/gets inside a solar car!

Kogakuin Team member:A member of Kogakuin University Solar Team. She is currently in the fourth year of university and has participated in 2017 BWSC.

Encounters with wild animals? Exciting or bittersweet?

CHIYAKI:I’ve heard you run into wild animals while you’re racing through nature in BWSC!

Kogakuin Team member:Yeah we do see cattle and wallabies during the race, they just run out into the roads. We also see wild animals in the evenings when we camp out. Not just the cute ones though...I once found a scorpion inside my shoe when I woke up in the morning!

CHIYAKI:Really?! I guess you can’t fully relax outside the race either then...have you ever seen kangaroos?

Kogakuin Team member:I’ve heard other teams have seen wild kangaroos, but unfortunately I’ve only seen dead ones on the roads...kangaroos often get run over by trucks and their bodies stay there on the roads. We’ve had to avoid running over those dead animals with our solar cars.

CHIYAKI:Oh I didn’t expect that! Must be hard for animals to survive as well then...

What do the participants eat to survive the race?

Kogakuin Team member:Definitely hard for them to survive when there is a fair amount of traffic going so fast. The participants in BWSC don’t have it easy either. We go 5 days without showers and toilets...we just keep racing for 3,000km!

CHIYAKI:It does sound like a very intense race. What do you eat during the race to keep yourselves going?

Kogakuin Team member:We eat breads for breakfast as we get ready for the race. For lunch and dinner we usually have some stew, curry or pot noodles. We do treat ourselves sometimes and buy steaks at local supermarkets. Aussie beef is quite cheap there. The members of our team are easily pleased when it comes to food; just give us meat and we’ll be happy! [laughs]

CHIYAKI:The way to survive isn’t it! Also I’ve been wondering...what happens when it rains during the race?

Kogakuin Team member:Even if it rains we can still keep going with solar power that’s been stored in the batteries. Obviously, when we run out of batteries we can’t charge them if the sun isn’t out. We need to be aware of the weather conditions in order to pace ourselves for the race.

CHIYAKI:Now that is an issue unique to solar cars. I know it’s a long-distance journey...what is the weather like there? Does the weather vary depending on areas?

Kogakuin Team member:The starting point is close to the equator, so it’s really hot and the temperature inside the car goes up to 40 degrees celsius. It gets cooler as we go South though, so we need jackets. The temperatures are widely varying across Australia so we need to take good care of ourselves not to catch a cold. We basically live with our teammates for a month so if one person gets sick everyone gets sick.

What to look forward to after the race?

CHIYAKI:For a month! The race itself lasts for 5 days though right? What do you do when you’re not racing?

Kogakuin Team member:Before we start in Darwin we need to have our solar cars inspected and have it ready for the race.

CHIYAKI:Inspection for solar cars!

Kogakuin Team member:It’s compulsory because we’ll be running on public roads as well. After we finish the race...well we just relax and have fun really! [laughs] There is a ceremony for the winning team at the finishing point in Adelaide. There are a lot of tourist attractions and resorts in Adelaide. I remember some members aged 20 and above went for wine tasting. As for me, I went to a zoo to see kangaroos, koalas and wombats and other Australian animals I didn’t get to see in the wild. They were all taking naps though I guess it was too hot for them [laughs].

CHIYAKI:I’m jealous! I would love to see koalas and wombats. It’s been great to hear your stories, thanks so much!

What CHIYAKI will be watching BWSC for, and her impression of a solar car at the event

“BWSC isn’t just about the quality of solar cars but also about strategies-thinking about how to use batteries efficiently and how to pace yourself in hot weather. There is a lot more to the race than I expected.

It was really interesting to hear about the participants’ side of the story because we don’t get to see how they spend their time outside of the race otherwise. I felt excited that the members of the solar team are as into koalas as I am! [laughs]

When I got inside the solar car at the event I could just imagine how painful my butt would be after a few hours. I know it isn’t the most sophisticated comment [laughs]. I am glad I’ve now got the idea of what the race will be like! I would be keen to go and check BWSC out in October!”