My name is Lars van der Aa, 23 years old, born in Oldenzaal and raised in Weerselo. Last year of college, I achieved my bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at University of Twente. Along with Coen Hartjes and a third driver, who will be announced later, I am part of the drivers team during the iLumen European Solar Challenge. Besides soccer as a hobby, motorcycling is my passion. When I was asked to drive The RED Engine, I did not hesitate at all; of course I would like to drive!
During the first test day, it became quickly clear that driving The RED Engine is totally different from motorcycling. In my opinion, it remains strange to see a car of 139 kilograms driving by with 90 kilometres an hour without hearing any noise. In addition, the car feels a bit unstable when driving, while The RED Engine is actually fairly stable. Thus, the solar car is more stable than he suggests to the driver.
Besides driving The RED Engine, my function within the solarteam is aerodynamics. Because I have followed the minor aeronautics last year, I already obtained some basic knowledge in this field. I could directly insert this knowledge during the application process.
With three team members we are mainly trying to keep laminar flows around the car as long as possible. We visualize these flows with the help of simulation programs on the computer. Crosswind stability and the prevention of possible swirls are also important points of focus.
The most interesting aspect of working in Solar Team Twente is that you are experiencing everything of the project from beginning to end; the design, production and of course the race ‘down under’. All this, combined with working with the high quality materials and techniques, is something you rarely see in projects. In addition, during this project I can obtain practical experience in this discipline. I will make every effort to deliver a top perfomance.