At half past eight in the morning local time – the sun was already blazing in Darwin, Australia – the starting shot sounded for the first car in the World Solar Challenge. Newcomers “Top Dutch Solar Racing team” from the Netherlands qualified yesterday for pole position by setting a track record in Darwin.

This is the first time that teams of students from Hanze University Groningen, University of Groningen, Noorderpoort and Friesland College have taken part in the Solar Challenge. The 26 of them have been working on the development of their cars for more than 2 years.

“A few team members went to the previous event for input and ideas for our car. We also looked at the other Dutch teams to see how they were going about it.” But Hestra assures that there was no cheating: “There’s no fun in that. Our engineers had a good look around and tried out a great deal. In the end, they made their own decisions.”

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