Stellenbosch, 29th of September – The Nuon Solar Team has won the Sasol Solar Challenge in South Africa again. After a couple of exhausting days, in which there were setbacks due to technical and human errors, the solar car Nuna9S had to overtake long distances between them and the Japanese team twice, the Dutch were able to get back in leading position. “We gave everything we could”, says driver Martijn Hoogelander (22), who drove Nuna9S over the finish. “We are super proud we managed to get this result.”
The Nuon Solar Team was able to drive 4030.4 travelled kilometres in eight days. The Japanese travelled 3941.4 kilometres in total in the South African solar race.
Description: Disbelief and euphoria for the Nuon Solar Team after winning the world title. Foto by Jorrit Lousberg.
The Dutch won the Sasol Solar Challenge in 2016, 2014 and now in 2018. This year the race had an dramatic outcome of events for the Nuon Solar Team two days before the finish while being in the lead of the Challenge, when the Dutch got a penalty from the organisations independent panel of judges as a result of a misstep made by a sick team member. By accident he placed his backpack and wanted to take a seat in the Mission Control of the Japanese team, Tokai. As a result the Japanese made an official complaint for ‘violation of privacy’, that made the Nuon Solar Team handing in over a hundred kilometres of their total travelled kilometres and losing their lead to Tokai. After all setbacks during the challenge, the Dutch were euphoric after their victory: “It was a race with a lot of setbacks, but the entire team proved they have a lot of resilience. We kept faith in ourselves and we fought for the victory. It is fantastic that we made it”, says team manager Jelle van der Lugt (24). “This was real team effort and it proves that our innovative ‘Intelligent Cruise Control’ was a very effective weapon.” Every two years the eight day long race starts in Pretoria and ends in Stellenbosch.