Nuna7 Wins, Stella Still Going Strong
Nuna7 has taken out the World Solar Challenge, with their solar powered car crossing the finish line more 100 kilometres ahead of closest rival Japan. There were jubilant scenes as the Delft-based team, Nuon and its car Nuna7, travelled to the centre of Adelaide for the trophy presentation after completing the 3.000 kilometre road journey from Darwin.
It marked the fifth win in the event for the team, which has now competed seven times. Both Nuon and its main rival, veteran Japanese team Tokai, had to battle cloudy skies and rain nearing the finish. But while Tokai was stuck on the side of the road with a flat battery, Nuon had more power because it had been harnessing energy in extra solar collector panels the team used while the car was stationary.
Still, team Nuon say the conditions were much worse than expected. "We were really afraid things could go wrong in the end," coach Wubbo Ockels said.
Nuna7 managed an average speed of 90.71 kilometres per hour and it took just over 33 hours to complete the trip. Eventually, Tokai crept into Adelaide early this afternoon at a speed of just 30 kilometres per hour.
In its Cruiser Class Stella races more then an hour behind the leading Australian team. But in this class practicality is just as important as speed. Being the only car – in fact the first solar car ever – to carry four persons brings a huge advantage in the classification on the finish line.