Kipkoech versus Longin: man against machine
On the 40th Memorial Van Damme, which took place on nine September 2016, Belgian racing pilot Bert Longin challenged Kenyan athlete Nicholas Kiplangat Kipkoech to be the first to cross the 600m finish. Longin was driving the fifth Belgian solar car for this race, the Indupol One. The battle between man and machine was held in a packed stadium in front of 46.000 people.
The race started as expected, with a slowly accelerating Indupol One who quickly got a disadvantage relative to the fast Kipkoech. The race seemed lost, but after the first round the Belgian solar car began his overtaking move. Everything was still possible as the gap between the two contestants started to diminish. Then it happened. Just after the last corner, at the beginning of the final sprint, the Indupol One took the lead and finished first.
Longin finished after 1: 13.11, the Kenyan only a few seconds behind with 1: 16.70.
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