It is that time of the year again when all eyes were on the World Solar Challenge, which took place in Australia. This year’s five-day long race was super exciting, with the lead three teams- Nuon, from University of Delft (NL), Solar Team Twente, from University of Twente (NL) and the guys from University of Michigan (US), being neck and neck throughout the whole time.
For quite a bit chunk of the race, Solar Team Twente seemed to be heading towards the trophy with full speed. Nuon was actually third, even fourth, at some point during day one, as the Aurum car from University of Michigan, and the Tokai Challenger from Tokai University, were giving them quite a run for their money. Throughout day two, Nuon secured the second position, finishing both days two and three just behind the guys from Twente.
But a turn of events happened on day four, just when everyone thought the leader board is decided, Nuon overtook Solar Team Twente, just mere 500 km (310 mi) from the finish line in Adelaide. At the end of day four, with 300 km (186 mi) left to go, the guys from Delft were only two minutes ahead of the Twente team.
Day five was particularly exciting, as Nuon was ahead of everyone for the whole morning. Their solar car reached incredible speeds of the whooping 100km/h (62 mph). But nothing was certain throughout the day, as at the 3000 km mark, the difference between Nuon and Solar Team Twente was just over two and a half minutes.
In the end, however, Twente could not do it, finishing second, just eight minutes and twenty seconds behind the winners Nuon. The guys from Delft managed to complete the race in 37 hours, 56 minutes and 12 seconds, taking the prize for a second consecutive time, and sixth time in the history of the World’s Solar Challenge. The fight for third and fourth place was also pretty exciting, as the team from Tokai University overtook the guys from University of Michigan just outside Adelaide and secured its third place.
In the coming hours, the final leader board will shape up as the rest of the contestants cross the finish line. In total 47 teams from 25 countries took part in the challenge this year.
Image (c) World Solar Challenge