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Dutch solar drivers just pipped race

By Katie Weiss

Solar Team Twente members Lars Van Der Aa (left), Fieke Hillerstrom and Coen Hartjes Solar Team Twente members Lars Van Der Aa (left), Fieke Hillerstrom and Coen Hartjes

Dutch university students have driven to victory in the world’s biggest solar car race after taking residency at Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina campus.

The 19 students from Solar Team Twente were in the lead for most of the week-long World Solar Challenge, which stretches almost 3000 km from Darwin to Adelaide, before securing second place.

Before the race, the team lodged at CDU for six weeks and used its mechanical facilities while training and working on their 149 kg “Red One” solar car.

Team race leader Irene Van den Hof said the team members enjoyed their time on campus and thanked CDU metal trades and maritime thematic team leader Rohan Badenhop for assisting them during their stay.

Mr Badenhop said CDU has supported the team during the past four races and was proud to continue to do so this year.

“The relationship that CDU has built with Team Twente over the past four races has been very strong,” he said.

He said the School of Trades provided Solar Team Twente and other teams with basic engineering trade services such as welding, machining and even some soldering solutions.