iLumen European Solar Challenge
The ambitious new Solar Team started the preparations for the European solar challenge with a lot of determination. We are going for a top three position! The race was nerve wracking from start to finish. In the end, all the hard work payed off. No major issues and a well prepared strategy lead us to a superb 2nd place!
There is more to this race than 24 hours driving with our solar cars. A speed challenge and a presentation contribute to the final score in this competition. We managed to give an awesome presentation by thinking outside of the box, but lost a lot a lot of points due to a slow speed challenge. The Indupol One, our 3 year old car used for this competition, was not made to be the fastest solar car on the track.
We are off!
The sun is shining bright and thereby enables our solar panels to charge up our batteries to the maximum level. All the drivers of the different teams are standing with their back against a wall, waiting for Minister Tommelein to start the race. Go! They run to their solar cars, get in and start the engines. We are in 4th place after only one lap. From then onwards, we try to keep pitstops to a minimum by saving up our tires. This strategy pays off as we are able to conquer the 3rd place and to keep this position until we need to charge our batteries for the first time. Nighttime falls, it is the first time that we drive in darkness and fully rely on our batteries. We were one of the last teams that had to charge their batteries for a second time. In the morning, after 18 hours of driving, we are still in 3th position.
Battle for second place.
We are closing in on the second position. With only one hour left, we are lagging one minute on the ThyssenKrupp SunRiser of Bochum that is driving in second position. We push our car to the maximum without the assurance that it will pay off. A well educated guess learnt us that the team from Bochum is also driving on the last bit of energy from their battery. They go into the pitlane with only 8 minutes left to go in the race. Excitement grows within our team. Can it be that they run out of energy right before the end of the race? Their solar car stands idle for 10 seconds and it becomes clear that they do not have enough energy left to finish the race. A burst of relief for the entire crew. We did it! Vice european champion for the next two years.