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Driver Pauline shook up after solar car skids in South-Africa

Posted on 22-09-2018


Kroonstad, 22 septembre 2018 - This saturday, Nuna9S, the solar car of the Nuon Solar Team, has successfully finished the first leg of the Sasol Solar Challenge in South Africa. Not everything went as smoothly as planned. Just before the first break of the day driver Pauline Overs (22) was obliged to brake forcefully, sending the solar car into a skid. ‘I was startled and I braked more than I should have, resulting in a 180 degrees spin. Luckily we, as drivers of Nuna, have been extensively trained for such situations, so I knew how to steer Nuna safely on the shoulder of the road.’ Said Overes very relieved after the incident. Both the driver and the solar car stayed undamaged. Unfortunately the just gained lead was lost by the Delft University team due to the incident.

Caption: (Up) The start of the 8-day long Solar Challenge in South-Africa. (Bottom) Driver Pauline shook up after the donut. Photos by Hans-Peter van Velthoven.

Marc Lammers, both coach of the Nuon Solar Team and the Dutch hockey team, stated that he will do everything in his power to reastablish the moral of the team. ‘From time to time the drivers have to drive on really tough or thrilling roads. With a car that is as light and small as Nuna heavy traffic weather circumstances such as wind, rain and hail have a very noticable effect on the car making it even more difficult to drive. Events like today can really kill the moral. My job is to make sure that they have confidence in themselves, Nuna and the rest of the convoi. I have all the faith in the world that these drivers have the nerves of steel they need to keep going and end this well.’

Caption: Solar car Nuna9s weaving its way through the heavy traffic of a 5 lane highway during the first day of the SASOL Solar Challenge.

Busy highway

The Sasol Solar Challenge, an international challenge with solar powered cars, started early this morning in Pretoria. Today, during the challenge the cars drove 265 kilometer all the way to Crown City, crossing in Johannesburg among others, a five-lane highway. Halfway the etappe, each team have to drive extra loops, today this loop was 75 kilometers long. The solar car driving the most kilometers within the 8 days of the race, will be the winner of the Sasol Solar Challenge.

Nuna started third, behind her biggest rivals Tokai from Japan and NWU from South-Africa. This immediately led to an thrilling race: is Nuna able to pass the competitors today and take the lead? Especially the Japanese team of Tokai University is strong and counts as the biggest competitor of the Dutch team. How good the teams actually were, turned out at the end of the day: both teams have made the same number of loops and therefore the same amount of kilometers.

Despite the setback it was still a good day for the Nuon Solar Team. Driver Pauline Overes: “We will certainly show that we have built the smartest solar car in the world.”


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