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Dutch Nuon Solar team win the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

12 October 2017

With barely enough room in the driver’s seat for a small girl, the Dutch Nuon Team solar car rolled into Adelaide this afternoon way ahead of the competition. They crossed ahead of USA’s Michigan , who placed second some 2 hours behind the Dutch.

Their aerodynamically shaped ‘Novum’ rolled into Adelaide stopping at the final check point on King William Road just across the bridge from Adelaide Oval before making the final journey to the finish at Victoria Square followed by the traditional romp in the fountain.

This was the Nuon Solar team’s seventh title in the Challenger class.

Punch Powertrain from Belgium will place third for their best result since 2007.

Celebrating 30 years this year, the world’s biggest solar challenge began in 1987 and is a 3,000 kilometre endurance event taking place every two years.

The Solar Challenge has become the world’s foremost innovation challenge with teams from around the world competing to become the first to deliver sustainable solar powered electric vehicles. Teams started their journey in Darwin on Sunday 8 October, 2017 in their bid to deliver the world’s most efficient solar electric car, arriving 4 days later in Adelaide.

Three classes of vehicle, Challenger, Cruiser and Adventure, take on the Aussie outback in a contest of endurance, strategy and innovation.

The elite Challenger Class is conducted in a single stage from Darwin to Adelaide and 2017 will see the third running of the Cruiser Class (the race within the race), created to encourage the green to the mainstream by designing practical electric vehicles where success is judged on a range of design and performance measures.

It is fitting in the event’s 30th anniversary year, that the most successful team ever, the Dutch Nuon Solar Team, crossed the line first, jubilant in their familiar orange shirts, they were swamped by their support crew, family and friends.

Champagne flowed as they dragged each other into the water for the traditional dunking, synonymous with the finish line.

Nuon took the lead early and never looked back. Strategists watched the weather, energy consumption and predicted the best way through the clouds.

Nuon Team Manager, Sander Koot, said they adjusted their strategy and driving style to the nerve-wracking weather conditions with wind gusts of up to 60 kilometres per hour.

Aerodynamics expert for the team, Jasper Hemmes, said drivers were instructed to position the solar car in such a way to profit from the winds as if it were a sailing ship.

In the cars of the future, the Cruiser Class, who are taking the green to the mainstream, Dutch team Eindhoven, are on track for their moment in the sun tomorrow – charging towards their time target of between 11am and 2pm.

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