Athlete competing against solar car

Lisanne de Witte will be back at the FBK Games on the 9th of June. The athlete who broke through internationally in 2018 and won a bronze medal for the 400 meters race at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow earlier this year, awaits a special opponent: RED Shift, Solar Team Twente's solar car. It promises to be an exciting 300m battle. Top sport, speed, power, aerodynamics and innovation come together during this top sport event in Twente.

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In short

  • A battle between humans and machine: will humans defeat technology?
  • Lisanne de Witte will battle Solar Team Twente’s solar car at the FBK Games

Global Goal

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Testing ground for technology and sport

The FBK Games were named ‘athletic testing ground’ in 2018. The renewed FBK Games are based on a new concept where top athletics, battles, entertainment and innovation come together. Twente is known worldwide for its innovative character. Therefore, it is not surprising that top sport and technology meet here in Twente. The public will be treated to a true man vs machine battle.

A special challenge

Last season, De Witte ran the limit at the FBK Games for participating in the European Championship in the 400 meters. This year she is back in Hengelo, but not for the women’s 400 meters: “This year I am participating in a special race. It's cool to see man battle machine, and especially to participate in it. FBK Games is also a great annual event, both in terms of opponents and vibe in the stadium. It is not often that you experience thousands of supporters cheering for you.”


A 300 meter is an obsolete distance. However, De Witte is excited: “A 300 meters race fits well in this period of the season. We only have to peak in September, after all (at the World Cup). Besides, a small speed test has paid off before.” De Witte refers to the National Championship Indoor where she participated in the 200 meters race instead of 400. Shortly thereafter, she won a medal at the European Championships Indoor in the 400 meters.

RED Shift: European Champion

De Witte will compete against RED Shift, Solar Team Twente’s 2017 car. This car is the European Champion of 2018. Annelies Dekker, team manager of the solar team: “A solar car on an athletics track seems a strange combination, but we practice top sport just like the athletes. We stop studying for 1.5 years (the Solar Team consists of 19 students from the University of Twente and Saxion University of Applied Sciences) to build the best solar car in the world. We focus on winning the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge and generating attention on the possibilities of sustainable mobility.


Our drivers train to be physically and mentally strong: during the race of over 3000 kilometres straight through the Australian outback they sit in a small cockpit for hours while it is 40 degrees Celsius outside. The battle in the FBK Stadium does not have an obvious winner. The car is built to go in a straight line on the Stuart Highway. The corners in the stadium are challenging. It will be an exciting battle, for sure.”

Ellen van Langen: "true showdown"

“This is a unique race: the solar car normally travels over 3000 kilometres through the Australian outback but now competes over a distance of 300 meters with an athlete. The public will witness a true showdown: will man or machine win?”


Meeting Director Hans Kloosterman is looking forward to the battle: “They both use natural resources. The solar car from Solar Team Twente is among the world top of its kind. Lisanne de Witte is approaching the world top in the 400 meters at a fast pace. While the solar car starts slowly, it can approach Lisanne when it reaches higher speeds. This is the ultimate battle.”

Date: 9 May 2019 |

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