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Nuon Solar Team on its way to win BWSC 2017

Posted on 11-10-2017

Team coach Marc Lammers: “The team is focussed and uplifted.”

Despite the rainfall and hard winds on this tumultuous day, the Nuon Solar Team has extended its
lead in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. With a two-hour lead, the world championship title
might be in eyesight. The students credit their compact design, strategy and teamwork as their
winning factors. However, they are certainly not seeing it as a matter of course: “A lot can happen
on the final racing day.”

After yesterday’s rain and wind, and tonight’s thunderstorm, day four in the Australian outback was
tempestuous at best. Winds reaching up to 60 km per hour were the cause for some nerve-racking
moments. Driver Emma Vercoulen explains: “It was quite an exercise to keep Nuna on the road. I had
to avoid the puddles: scary and exciting at the same time!”

The Nuon Solar Team tempered their speed to guarantee their safety. Nonetheless, they were able
to extend their lead. For this they credit their amazing strategy team. Strategy analyst Stijn Burger
sits every day in Mission Control, the car driving behind Nuna. “Mission Control keeps an eye on the
car and surroundings. Today we monitored the wind to use it in our advantage.”

Driving on ‘wind energy’
With hard lateral winds, Nuna9 is still able to drive hard, very efficiently, due to her aerodynamic
design. Aerodynamics expert Jasper Hemmes explains: “We instruct the driver to position the car in
such a way that we can profit from the winds, as if it were a sailing ship. The suction due to the wind
and our aerodynamic design enable this. You might say that our solar car Nuna was driving on ‘wind
energy’ as well.

Great team spirit
The Nuon Solar Team’s coach Marc Lammers mentions another secret weapon. “One of their
strongholds is that everyone’s familiar with each other’s strengths. One team member knows
everything about tires, some else is an expert in the field of aerodynamics, and some other members
know all the ins and outs of the solar panel and electronics. This team makes great decisions at the
right moments; and they do it together. Their concentration is great, which results in a great team
spirit. The latter translates well into their performance.”

Nerve-racking final
As the wind is picking up, the final racing is expected to be a nerve-racking one. A minor steering
mistake could significantly decrease your chance of winning. Team captain Sander Koot: “A lot can
happen on the final racing day, we must stay focused until the final kilometre.”

Current positions after racing day 4:
1. Nuna (Netherlands)
2. Michigan (USA): + 01:59:31 compared to Nuna
3. Twente (Netherlands)
4. Punch (Belgium)
5. Tokai (Japan)

Total distance travelled by Nuna9 on day 4:    648,5 km.
Total distance travelled by Nuna9 overall:     2562,5 km.

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