DUTCH team Nuon Solar celebrated victory in a nail-biting race to the finish line at this year's Bridgestone World Solar Challenge from Darwin to Adelaide, South Australia.
With just three minutes between Nuon and Solar Team Twente (also from the Netherlands) at the start of the final leg of racing, Nuon managed to hold onto the lead, claiming their sixth victory in the challenge.
The teams have been vying for first place since day two of the five-day, 3000km journey across the desert from Darwin, with Twente in the lead until yesterday.
“I hear 'Nuna heads up. We're going to overtake team Twente,' and I was like 'Yes, it's happening.” Joris Van den Berg
“There was eleven seconds difference between us at the control stop at Kulgera,” she said.
Nuon driver Joris Van den Berg was driving the car when the team overtook Twente between outback towns Glendambo and Port Augusta, in South Australia.
“It was the second shift of the day, we were behind Twente the whole time, and in the morning on our journey from Cooper Pedy to Glendambo we realised that after that we had one last chance to make our move.”The moment you see the red convoy nearing it goes totally silent, because we have a separate communication channel with the drivers of Nuna8 and the rest of the convoy.
“Then I hear 'Nuna heads up. We're going to overtake team Twente,' and I was like 'Yes, it's happening. It's happening. It's happening,'” said Van de Berg.
Both teams put aside any rivalry at the finish line in the centre square of Adelaide, jumping into the city's fountain for a swim.
Coming in at third place was Japanese team Tokai University, driving Tokai Challenger, followed by University of Michigan's car Aurum, in fourth place.
Race organisers expect the remaining 43 cars to cross the finish line by Sunday.Jump to next article