By Maxime, Laval, France
At school, 20 students developed an electric buggy in 3 years. It is the “Saar-e” project. Yamaha donated the buggy frame, and students realised all the propulsion parts. They installed the electric components of 2 e-moto-bikes—the first one on the front of the buggy and the second on the back. Last summer, they raced in their first competition, the “Carta Rally” in Morocco. This course lasted five days. They drove around 100km per day.
In September, after my internship at “SebastienLoebRacing”, the Team Manager of the Saar-e asked me to participate in the Baja Portalegre (north-east of Lisbon) competition in Portugal with the team. He asked me because I had developed many new skills during my internship, and I knew how to work in a competition. We prepared the buggy from September to the departure and went to Portugal.
The Baja Portalegre competition is a stage of the Baja World Championship. At the same time, Yahama Europe organises their European championship. In Portugal, it was the “super-final” of the Yamaha Cup. That is why they asked us to participate in this race. It was the opportunity to present our prototype to the other teams.
The pilot and the copilot had two days of racing. The circuit was 62km on the first day and 300km on the second. We had many electric problems during the week but finished the first 62km. We did not have the same luck on the second day because the electrical problems hindered our departure.
At this World championship, there were a lot of different race teams from 20 nations.
People representing Yamaha Europe are Italian, and we don’t speak Italian. I quickly learned when we spoke English, they were interested in speaking with us uniquely. We were warmly welcomed and integrated into the Yamaha family. We were in contact with decision-makers and could expand our network for the future.
Not only that, but we are students developing an electric prototype and have a lot of skills to learn and many questions to ask. This championship was a perfect event to learn from different professional race teams. There were two other teams with electric prototypes. We could only speak English with them to exchange knowledge and experience.
The common goal of our three teams demonstrating our electric prototypes is to develop a new competition. For now, we demonstrate what we are capable of doing, but there is no competition between us. That is why we can discuss and learn from each other to improve the buggy.
During this entire competition, I saw the importance of using simple language to be understood. We don’t have to make complex sentences. If we make mistakes, it is not the end of the world.