Dutch Cruiser class entrant ‘Stella Vie’ is expected to win its division, even though it did not finish first. (Supplied: Bart van Overbeeke)
The Dutch look set to take out both classes in this year’s World Solar Challenge after their Cruiser class car crossed the finish line today.
Yesterday, The Netherlands’ Challenger team Nuon reached Adelaide hours ahead of the closest rivals, claiming a ninth-straight win in the category.
The defending team in the Cruiser class Team Eindhoven, also from The Netherlands, crossed the line in their car Stella Vie second on Friday morning, after Germany’s Bochum Team.
The Cruiser category encourages teams to design cars that could be commercially viable and can take multiple passengers.
Unlike the Challenger, it is not first to the finish line that wins.
The Cruisers were given a three-hour window to get to Adelaide and the winner will be announced this weekend once other factors — each cars efficiency and practicality are taken into account.
Nuon Solar Team, of The Netherlands had its third consecutive victory in the Challenger class. (ABC News: Alina Eacott)
While Bochum Solar Car team was the first to reach the final Adelaide point, they did not get the glory of entering Victoria Square first after their car broke down just as they were approaching.
It did not matter though, the team celebrated their first place with a number of chants, cheers and congratulations to the other teams.
The team also celebrated their, albeit belated, victory with Queensland’s TeamArrow in the traditional fountain in Victoria Park.
Queensland’s TeamArrow was the first Australian car to finish the race. (ABC News: Georgia Hitch)
Number two Eindhoven had to call it a night at the Port Augusta control stop because of technical issues.
But it did not seem to have a lasting effect as the car made it through to Adelaide about midday on Friday.
“We had a fantastic last day,” team manager Wout Gubbels said.
“We had some troubles yesterday but we were able to fix them quite well and because of the head start we made for ourselves the last day was just everyone being sharp and staying focused and we finished perfectly.”
Not far behind Team Eindhoven was TeamArrow — the first Australian car to finish the Challenge this year.
“We’ve had a long week and the team is so excited to be here,” team manager Rob Mair said.
The Bochum solar team crossed the finish line first in the Cruiser class, but speed is just one factor in that division when deciding the winner. (ABC News: Georgia Hitch)
The car suffered a punctured tyre, a storm and steering issues during the race, but Mr Mair said it made finishing all the more special.
“It actually made the event more interesting, more exciting,” he said.
“We had challenges to overcome and it just makes just finishing the race that much more victorious.”
As it stands, Team Eindhoven looks set to win the overall challenge, winning big points for efficiency, having carried five people for most of the 3,000-kilometre journey.
The winner will be announced on Sunday night.