Bridgestone Corporation has celebrated the success of the 2023 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC) and the competitive debut of an ENLITEN technology equipped tire. Bridgestone’s new ENLITEN tire showed strong performance by supporting Challenger Class Winner Innoptus Solar Team,and Cruiser Class Winner Sunswift Racing. Bridgestone joined the organizers of the BWSC, the South Australian Motorsport Board (SAMSB), in showcasing the success of the event’s winning teams in each class and named the first ever winners of the Bridgestone E8 Commitment award, which celebrates the team that strongly exemplifies the one of the eight values of our corporate commitment, Bridgestone E8 Commitment, in the BWSC award ceremony on 29 October.
Winner of Challenger class: Team Manager Mr. Cedric Verlinden of “Innoptus Solar Team – Belgium”; “First of all it’s crazy to be a part of this journey and be part of the solar community and then winning the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge two times back-to-back, it’s an amazing feeling. I really like that we are now driving with a more sustainable tire. We drove 3,000km and every day we changed tires but there was no damage to the tires. We’re really happy that we could collaborate with Bridgestone on these tires. ”
Winner of Cruiser class: Team Manager Ms. Andrea Holden of “Sunswift Racing – Australia” ; “It’s a huge achievement to know that we’re capable of winning this, it’s what we came here to do. This is a tough event and the BWSC is a huge community, so it’s really nice for an Australian team to have a presence in this competition and we want to continue showcasing prototype electric vehicles. The Bridgestone ENLITEN tires have been phenomenal. We didn’t change the tires until 1,500km into the event, and it was only because it seemed sensible to change them. They still don’t look like they have any wear on them at all.”
Winner of Bridgestone E8 Commitment Award: Team Manager Mr. Matt Jennings of “ASCEND – Deakin
University Solar Car Team – Australia” ; “It’s fantastic. I’m very passionate about sustainability and the circular economy. We have to find different ways to use less fossil fuels and that’s why we love Bridgestone putting recycled and renewable materials into ENLITEN tires. I’m really happy that what we’re trying to do is recognised by Bridgestone and that it’s the right way to approach engineering.”
Bridgestone carries on its 60-year legacy in motorsports. The company is evolving its motorsports activities with sustainability at the core, and advancing innovation in tire technology through motorsports. The BWSC is an important event not only as a title sponsor but also as a platform to challenge our sustainable tire technology as a “mobile lab”. Bridgestone has listened to the team’s needs and wants, and deeply understanding the demanding conditions of the event to customize the tires to be durable enough to traverse 3,000km across the outback – enabling each car to demonstrate their best performance while ensuring safety. Bridgestone continues to support the event to advance sustainability together with all the stakeholders of this event, collaborate to drive innovation, and to share the emotion, excitement and passion of the event. Bridgestone is sharing the passion to win, to embrace the ultimate challenge, and to be an inspiration.
Bridgestone has developed new, bespoke tires for the 2023 BWSC featuring ENLITEN, the company’s new base technology for product design. ENLITEN® elevates conventional tires by enhancing environmental performance while also exceeding the customer and market demands in product performance. The 2023 BWSC was the first time ENLITEN technology has been used in a competitive environment.
Comments made in the award ceremony speech by Masahiro Higashi, Representative Executive Officer/ Joint Global COO, Bridgestone Corporation. “This event unites individuals – organizers, faculty experts, participants, volunteers, and supporters from around the world, all with high awareness and sensitivity to sustainability, to come together to challenge the status quo and stimulate innovation for a brighter tomorrow. Our teams are made up of the greatest young minds, pouring nights and effort to overcome the challenge and develop the most efficient electric vehicle. I can only imagine the countless successes as well as failures, joy as well hardships, behind the scenes to get this far. But your passion and dedication to push the limit of technology is what’s driving tomorrow’s mobility. You are shaping the future of sustainable mobility, and Bridgestone is both grateful and proud to be able to join the journey and be a part of the team to create the future with you as the title sponsor.” The ENLITEN-equipped tires supplied to the BWSC were designed to help teams meet the extreme demands during the 3,000km event, including low rolling resistance, wear and weight, and durability. Bridgestone customized tires based on the needs from the teams to demonstrate the new ENLITEN technology and exceptional capabilities of the tires. The tires Bridgestone supplied for the 2023 event features a recycled and renewable material ratio (MCN – Material Circularity Number) of 63%* 4
, which is a significant improvement compared to approx. 30 % in the 2019 BWSC event.
Comment from Masato Banno, Senior Vice President and Executive Officer/ Global CTO（Global Chief
Technology Officer）, Bridgestone Corporation. “I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the teams who successfully completed the challenge from Darwin to Adelaide, and as the title sponsor, I am very happy to have been able to support all the teams in making their dreams come true. We are also pleased that our ENLITEN technology tire that was customized for the BWSC, demonstrated strong performance, including rolling resistance and durability, and was well received by the participating teams. For Bridgestone, motorsports are a “mobile lab.” and a place to develop and train our teammates to ensure safety, improve technology development capabilities, and enhance brand power. We will work hard together with the young engineers to achieve even more advanced “ultimate customization” for the next event.”
Placing sustainability at the core of management and business, Bridgestone strives to realize its vision toward 2050 of providing social value and customer value as a sustainable solutions company. The BWSC plays a unique role on this journey as a convergence of motorsports and sustainable solutions for the future.*5 The BWSC showcases the “Energy” and “Emotion” values of the Bridgestone E8 Commitment, which outline Bridgestone’s corporate commitment to the realization of a carbon neutral mobility society (Energy) and to inspiring excitement and spreading joy to the world of mobility (Emotion).