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Sun is in driver's seat for car race

China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-09 07:06

The World Solar Challenge began on Sunday with 42 cars crossing Australia's tropical north to its southern shores, a grueling 3,000-kilometer race through the outback.

The race from the northern city of Darwin to the southern city of Adelaide is expected to take a week for most cars, with speeds of 90 to 100 km/h powered only by the sun.

The fastest time was achieved by Japan's Tokai University in 2009, completing the transcontinental race in just 29 hours and 49 minutes.

Belgian team Punch Powertrain started first on Sunday after recording a trial time of 2 min 3.8 sec for 2.97 km, hitting an average speed of 83.4 km/h.

But reigning 2015 champions Nuon from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands are confident they have a good chance of retaining the prize.

"All the cars look completely different (this year), and all we know is we've got a good car, we've got it running perfectly the last couple of days and we're confident we're going to do everything to win," tour manager Sarah Benninkbolt said on Sunday.

Race director Chris Selwood said the event has attracted teams from more than 40 countries.

"This is the 30th anniversary of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge and competitors want to be part of that. They have been drawn to the challenge of new regulations which reduced the solar array size without limiting the size of the solar car," Selwood said.

"Innovation is at the heart of the event and the technology showcased this year will influence continuing solar innovation for vehicles and householders in the future," said Lauren Moss, the Northern Territory's minister for tourism and culture.


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