Netherlands wins its seventh world solar auto challenge in Australia

Ruben Hill
October 12, 2017

A Dutch team won a solar-powered vehicle race across Australia for a seventh time Thursday, with a University of MI auto taking second place in the biennial event.

The challenge began on October 8 with 42 cars powered only by the sun racing from Australia's tropical north to its southern shores, a grueling 3,000 km (1,864 mile) endurance test through the outback.

The Michigan team has competed in 12 Australian races since 1990.

The team from the Netherlands was just under 300kms from Adelaide at midday on Thursday with a strong lead over second placed auto Novum from the University of MI with Punch Power from Belgium in third.

"We're going to celebrate, but first I'm going to take a shower".

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.

BC-AS-Australia-Solar-Race, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 173 Dutch team wins Australia solar-powered auto race 7th timeAP Photo BKWS101Eds: Updates with second and third places.

The vehicles are powered by the sun and mostly developed by universities or corporations, with teams hailing from Australia and 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.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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