Battle for first position
In Australia, The Punch Powertrain Solar Team fights for the first position in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. The team ended the second day of the race on the fifth position but only 20 mintues behind the leading team, Team Twente from the Netherlands. The solar race never has been this epic.
Sunday, 16 students of the University of Leuven started a 3000 km race from Darwin to Adelaide with their solar car, the Punch One. After a smooth start yesterday, the car easily climbed to second position. However, due to a flat tire, the team ended the day as fifth team. Today the students tried to cath up. They travelled 760km of which race driver Bert Longin drove most of the distance. “We drove very fast today, the first 350km we were the fastest team on the road. It was a super day and we caught up some time.”
Team Twente from the Netherlands in their solar car Red One, is hanging on to its lead by the narrowest of margins from their compatriots and 2013 Champions, Nuon Solar Team in ‘Nuna 8’. The US Solar Champions, Team Michigan in ‘Aurum’ are only minutes behind. At the close of Day 2 in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge these three teams are camping just north of Alice Springs within shouting distance of each other. Just a few kilometres back along the Stuart Highway, the Belgian team and Team Tokai from Japan share their camp site to start day 3 with negligible time difference.
With 1600 km to come, everything is still possible and 5 teams battle for the win. The race has never been so exciting.