19 September 2021
Belgian Solar Team wins European championship
For the second time in a row, the Agoria Solar Team can call themselves European Champions. The student team of Leuven was the first to cross the line of the iLumen European Solar Challenge. On the Zolder Circuit, the Belgian solar car managed to drive the highest number of laps in 24 hours. It is the second European title and fourth gold medal in a row for the Belgian team that will participate in the next racing challenge in the Moroccan Sahara next month.
Problems before the start
On Friday evening the Agoria Solar Team drove some test laps in preparation for the European Championship that was to start the following day. Due to an unexpected manoeuvre by another solar car on the track, the Belgian team had to dodge and sustained damage to the suspension of the car. This brought the tests to a premature end and for a while it was uncertain whether the Belgian team would be able to participate in the European Championship. After a long night of repair work, the students from Leuven managed to get their solar car ready in time for the start of the competition.
The iLumen European Solar Challenge lasted 24 hours and took place at the Zolder Circuit in Belgium. At 1pm sharp, teams from universities across Europe started the championship. The Agoria Solar Team participated in the race with their 2019 solar car, the BluePoint, and crossed the finish line with the highest number of laps. It is the second time in a row that the Belgian team can call itself European champion. At the 2020 edition, the BluePoint managed to complete a record number of laps.
From start to finish, it was a nerve-wracking neck-to-neck race between the Belgian and the Dutch Solar Team. The difference between the teams was in the strategy; due to a difference in tactics, the Dutch team from Twente stopped twice as long as the Belgians in order to recharge their batteries and cover the night. Valuable time which the Belgium solar team used to the full to build up a nice lead. In the end, the Agoria Solar Team finished two laps ahead of their competitors.
Next race in Morocco
Next week, the Belgian Solar Team will leave for Morocco for their next international competition. In five days time, the engineering students will travel 2500 kilometres through the Sahara and at the foot of the steep Atlas Mountains. As current world champion and brand new European champion, the Belgian team will give everything to win in Morocco as well. The Solar Challenge Morocco starts on Monday 25 October and will last until Friday 29 October.