Dutch students win 3000 km solar-powered vehicle race for seventh time

Postado Outubro 12, 2017

The team, which also won in 2013 and 2015, seized the lead early on in the 3,000 kilometre race from Darwin and never looked back, after the fleet of nearly 40 teams set off on Sunday for the journey through Australia's red centre.

The US' University of Michigan "Novum" finished just under two hours behind in second place ahead of Belgium's Punch Powertrain, which completed the race half an hour later.

This year's edition of the biennial race marks 30 years since it was first held in 1987 to showcase the emerging power of solar energy.

Students from Delft University has won the World Solar Challenge in Australia for the seventh time after their solar-powered auto crossed the finishing line in the early hours of Thursday morning, Dutch time.

The win is the seventh for Nuon, with their auto overcoming cloudy skies as they took the lead early and stayed ahead in the elite Challenger class, which features slick, single seat aerodynamic vehicles built for sustained endurance and total energy efficiency. When their team finished first in 2015, it took them 33.03 hours.

Nuon team manager Sander Koot said drivers were forced to adjust their strategy after encountering wind gusts of up to 60 km per hour (37 miles per hour) to profit from the winds as if a sailing ship.

A second Dutch team, Solar Team Twente is likely to finish in fifth place, later on Thursday.

The vehicles are powered by the sun and mostly developed by universities or corporations, with teams hailing from Australia and countries across the world including the United States, Malaysia, India and South Africa.

The crews drove between 8am and 5pm each day with seven checkpoints along a route cutting through the heart of Australia's central desert region, to get updates on their standings, the weather, and do basic maintenance.