Dutch team Nuon wins third consecutive solar auto race

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 12, 2017

The Netherlands claimed a seventh World Solar Challenge title on Thursday after its solar-powered auto drove the length of Australia in a little over 37 hours.

The Nuon team's Nuna 9 vehicle averaged more than 80 kph (50 mph) to reach the World Solar Challenge finish line in the southern coastal city of Adelaide after five days of racing across 3,022 kilometers (1,878 miles) of Outback highway from Darwin in the north.

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.

The Nuon Solar Team from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, entering the lightest auto in the field, reached the finish line in 37 hours, 10 minutes and 41 seconds, according to race organisers.

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. The fastest time of 29 hours and 49 minutes was achieved by Japan's Tokai University in 2009. When their team finished first in 2015, it took them 33.03 hours.

They also positioned the vehicle so it could benefit from the windy conditions like a sailing ship, the team's aerodynamics expert Jasper Hemmes told organisers.

Another Dutch team, Eindhoven, is on track to finish Friday and win that class, with Germany's HS Bochum tracking second. This year's race attracted 95 teams from more than 20 countries.

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