Solar car in the lead!

21 November 2001

Nuna, the space age solar racing car from the Netherlands, is in the lead after day three of the World Solar Challenge, a 3000 km race right across Australia for cars powered by solar energy. Nuna is expected to cross the finish line on Wednesday 21 November.

The Alpha Centauri Team was slow to get underway, but having set off from eleventh place on the starting grid, they were soon working their way up the field. Nuna took the lead just before the first control post, having passed main contenders Aurora, Solar Motions and M-Pulse. Nuna covered a total distance of 728 km on the first race day, travelling at an average speed of 91 km/h.

On the second race day the skies were clear, but a strong wind meant a tactical decision was made not to race at top speed. The Australian solar car, Aurora, soon passed the Alpha-Centauri Team quickly stretching their lead to 30 km. Later in the day, around 16:00, Aurora was once again in sight and Nuna re-took the lead. By the end of day two Nuna had a lead of 12.6 km over Aurora. M-Pulse lay in third place at 58 km and Solar Motions in fourth at 91 km.

Day three of the race saw the Nuna vehicle maintain pole position in the race to reach Adelaide. Having travelled a total distance of 2100 km, the finish line is just 830 km away. The closest rival car, Aurora, is just 15 km behind Nuna, although third-placed M-Pulse is now trailing by more than an hour.

For a personal account, read
the Alpha Centauri team's race diary »»»

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