Top Dutch Solar Racing, a team from the Northern Netherlands, achieve fourth place in the World Solar Challenge
It is sometimes thought that most technical students in the Netherlands study in either Eindhoven or Delft. However, recently it’s become clear that Groningen University is also performing very well as a technical university. This is now apparent as the solar car built by students from Groningen and Friesland was the only Dutch car to reach the finish line! The Groningen team, ‘Top Dutch Solar Racing,’ finished fourth in the World Solar Challenge in Australia.
The team, which consists of 26 students from Hanze University, the University of Groningen, Noorderpoort and Friesland College, drove more than 3000 km from Darwin to Adelaide in just five days. The winner was the Belgian team of the KU Leuven.
This was the first time that Top Dutch Solar Racing participated in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. The team developed and built the ‘Green Lightning’ car in just two years. Team manager, Jeroen Brattinga, proudly says ‘’Out of 26 teams, we crossed the finish line in fourth place. That is a great result for the entire team!”
The team had a great start in the challenge. As Top Dutch Solar Racing won the qualifying round on the circuit, the team was allowed to start the race in pole position. The solar car, called Green Lightning, was the first solar car that drove out of Darwin and started the Challenge.
Top Dutch was the only participating Dutch team at the end. Solar Team Twente dropped out yesterday and the Vattenfall Solar Team from TU Delft, which was in the lead, unexpectedly caught fire and had to step out of the Challenge.
Brattinga comments, ‘’Of course that is terrible and even though it is a race, you don’t wish any team harm. Fortunately, their drivers and the other team members are unharmed.”
The moment that Top Dutch Solar Racing crossed the finished line was witnessed by a huge audience, from Aussies to Dutch people who happen to be on vacation to purebred fans of solar cars. ‘’That does something to you, we have been working towards this for more than two years. I am very proud of the team,” says Jeroen Brattinga.
In first place was the Belgian team of KU Leuven, in second place was the Japanese Tokai University and in third place, the team from the University of Michigan. The remaining 17 solar cars are not finished yet.