Guided by passion: the story of our Fiber Optics Racing Team

Written by 

Anja Kroll

 People & Culture Communication Lead

End of August the Red Bull Soapbox Race took place near Bern, Switzerland. A legendary event where innovation, passion and a pinch of healthy madness come together. Exactly the right place to join for our colleagues Kevin, Marco, Raphael, Jürgen and Jonas, so they registered the HUBER+SUHNER Fiber Optics Racing team. They designed the vehicle themselves, using Fiber Optic parts for the vehicle's body work. 

Our daredevil pilots

Twenty-one years after the first Swiss edition of the Red Bull Soapbox Race in Bern, the event returned to the original Swiss location this year. At the fourth edition of the Red Bull Soapbox Race in Switzerland, around 28,000 spectators watched the 44 teams race down the slope. Only 34 out of 44 reached the finish line. Our team was highly challenged by the heavy weather conditions. Team Captain Kevin: “I couldn't pull the brakes in the rain because I would have had to let go of the steering wheel to do so. As a result, we went too fast and then had no more grip on the aluminium obstacle in the wet conditions.”

The conditions for the teams changed during the race as it started raining heavily after the first eleven teams. The race was temporarily interrupted and when the rain subsided to a drizzle, the competition resumed. Shortly before the HUBER+SUHNER Fiber Optics team was about to start, the rain started again, this time without interruption. “Meanwhile the track was soaking wet, and the aluminium edges of the obstacles were unrideable”, Kevin explained.

A mix of speed, aesthetics and performance

Even though our team unfortunately did not reach the finish line due to adverse weather conditions, we are very impressed by so much innovation and team spirit. Their vehicle reached a top speed of 28 km/h. This was also acknowledged by the jury who judged the team's show of a pitstop including a change to intermediate tires right before the start with a remarkable point score for design and performance.

The team of five impressively shows how we understand and live our company value "Passion" at HUBER+SUHNER. Matthias Bleibler, Vice President FO T&O Research & Development supported the team during the process and also on site: “This project showcases the power of teamwork, collaboration and passion. It reminds us that progress thrives in an environment that encourages innovation, creativity, and last but not least fun – a recipe we should replicate in our future.”