Prof Bertrand Piccard becomes an 80 Day Race ambassador

Prof Bertrand Piccard, initiator, chairman and pilot of Solar Impulse, has become an ambassador of 80 Day Race. A shared vision on sustainability and the passion for adventure convinced Piccard to express his support to the global sustainable race.

Piccard achieved two round-the-world flights, non-stop with a balloon and most recently with the first airplane capable of flying perpetually without a drop of fuel. As initiator and visionary behind Solar Impulse, he and André Borschberg flew 43,041 km taking turns at the controls of their solar aircraft with the purpose of promoting the use of renewable energies and energy efficiency, for a better quality of life on Earth. Together with his team, Piccard overcame technical, human and operational challenges that nobody had ever faced before.

Sharing a similar philosophy, to show that the future can be clean and exciting, teams competing in 80 Day Race will race 40,000 km solely with vehicles that don’t consume fossil fuel. The project is inspired by Jules Verne’s famous book ‘Around the world in 80 days’, betting that new means of transportation make it possible to achieve this challenge.

The race will start in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Once underway, the competitors are free to choose their own route to circumnavigate the globe between eight major cities in which events will take place, such as qualifying events, an educational programme and trade shows. The teams will visit the Le Mans track just before they depart on their final sprint back to Paris.

Bertrand Piccard, initiator, chairman and pilot of Solar Impulse, said: “I’m excited to see what innovations the 80 Day Race competitors will develop to overcome the many challenges they will face. Like for Solar Impulse, they will have to achieve what many people believe is impossible. The way ahead will be difficult, but with a willingness to challenge common assumptions, the race will bring to the fore pioneering individuals and technologies that will have an impact for the world far beyond the adventure itself.”

Frank Manders, co-founder and General Director at 80 Day Race, said: “The family Piccard has a long history of exploration and adventure, driven by a great passion for science and understanding the natural world. When Bertrand Piccard announced the Solar Impulse project, he embraced a great new challenge and a human adventure. He has shown that what seems impossible is actually within reach if we work together and cooperate as a team. For us to have the support from Bertrand Piccard and the Solar Impulse Foundation is immensely important as we share the passion for great adventures of exploring boundaries and the possibilities of a clean future.”

80 Day Race is in discussion with global partners, constructors, cities, local promoters and media partners to set a date for the start of the race. The city of Paris has already embraced the event; of where it will depart.

Other ambassadors who are committed to 80 Day Race are: Hubert Auriol (Three-time Dakar Rally winner and former race director), Michael, Sebastiaan & Jeroen Bleekemolen (entrepreneurs and racing drivers), Charley Boorman (modern-day adventurer), Albert Bosch (adventurer and electric Dakar Rally participant), Tim Coronel (Dutch racing driver with electric aspirations), Pierre Fillon (President of The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO)), Jan Lammers (former F1 driver and Le Mans 24 hours winner), Erik Lindbergh (electric aviation pioneer), Robert Llewellyn (British actor and e-mobility specialist), Louis Palmer (sustainability specialist), Claudio von Planta (award winning film director), Didier de Radiguès (former Grand Prix winner and lap record holder for electric motorcycles at Spa-Francorchamps) Javier de Rocafort (successful entrepreneur and strategic advisor), Maarten Steinbuch (Professor at Eindhoven University of Technology), Tom Touber (former COO and winner of the Volvo Ocean Race) and Eric Vigouroux (successful off-road racing driver and team manager).

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