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Agoria Claims Their First BWSC Title

Agoria Claims Their First BWSC Title

17 Oct 2019

Agoria Claims Their First BWSC Title

Few can remember a more dramatic day in BWSC History, with Agoria Solar Team from Belgium claiming their first title. 

Agoria Solar Team charged into the lead this morning, after working incredibly hard to make up time over the final days of their Challenge. Rising in the field, they shortened their gap yesterday from just over 40 minutes, to just 2 minutes this morning.

As they crossed the Finish Line all could feel the pure sense of elation from the Belgians, who have claimed the first title in their team’s history.

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Starting off the day in Port Augusta, Vattenfall Solar Team had the lead by just a couple of minutes. After travelling 2761 kilometres from Darwin, as they charged towards Adelaide on their final leg, their car Nuna X caught fire just before Mambray Creek.

The driver was able to quickly park the car on a side road and get out safely, before the car burnt to the ground.

"I am standing next to a burning pile of carbon," driver Tim van Leeuwen said. "It seemed we had the wind in our back: we were in the lead, driving 100 kilometers per hour, when I smelled something burning. I asked our chase vehicle if it could be the car, but all measured values appeared normal. It wasn't long before smoke filled up the cockpit, I immediately knew something was wrong."

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Image via Jorrit Lousberg/Vattenfall Solar Team

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but all participants are safe, and emergency services soon arrived to address the fire.

There was nothing but support across the field as the day continued. Tokai University Solar Car Team arrived second across the Finish Line, celebrating an incredible effort.

Following them was University of Michigan Solar Car Team coming third across the Finish Line, proud of their efforts and their team’s rich history that continues to be written.

Despite the events of the morning, Vattenfall ended their Challenge on a high, coming across the Finish Line as a team celebrating. The entire crowd fell silent in one of the most touching moments of the entire Challenge, when team leader Maud Diepeveen gave BWSC Event Director Chris Selwood one of the last remaining pieces of their car; their official BWSC number plate.

As the first teams finished their journey, the rest of the field charged on home. After last night’s charging in Coober Pedy, the Cruiser Class set off in the 1000km of their Challeng, some finishing the day past Port Augusta.

3 Cruiser Class teams remain in the competitive group; IVE Engineering Solar Car Team, Sunswift and Solar Team Eindhoven. While they will, like all teams, celebrate as they cross the Finish Line, the results will still be unknown.

On Saturday the Cruiser Class judging will take place, where each Cruiser team’s car is judged on various elements such as design innovation, environmental impact, ease of access and egress, occupant space and comfort, versatility and style. Find out more about the Cruiser Class judging here.

The remaining Challenger, Cruiser and Adventure Class cars are all working hard to complete the final leg of their BWSC journey, and celebrate their efforts on the Finish Line.

Finish Line arrivals will continue from tomorrow morning, with the majority of the field set to arrive tomorrow, Friday 18th October, and on Saturday 19th October at the City of Adelaide Finish Line. Find out more about what's on offer here

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You can also see some of the best moments from the 2019 BWSC in our Photo Gallery.