On 21 June, the longest day of the year, the Nuon Solar Team raced a distance of 882 kilometres in twelve hours in their solar car, a new world record. The race, which took place on the test track at the Netherlands Vehicle Authority's test centre in Lelystad, the Netherlands, was designed to give Nuna a trial run as the new team hopes to be crowned solar racing world champion for the seventh time at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia in October.
The starting pistol for the record attempt was fired by Marc Lammers, former national coach of the Dutch women's hockey team, as the sun rose at 5.19 am. Exactly twelve hours later, at 5.19 pm, Olympic hockey champion Naomi van As announced that the race had ended.
Stijn Burger, the strategist of the team: "In the morning there was much cloud cover, but fortunately the weather cleared in the course of the day and thereby Nuna flew on the test circuit."
The realistic setting for the team’s world record attempt mimicked the championships in Australia. The team camped by the race track, changed their tyres in record time and charged Nuna's solar panels. The team's other vehicles, including Scout, which paved the way for Nuna, and Mission Control, which was used to define the strategy for the race, also took part in the race.
World Solar Challenge
This year will be the ninth time that the Nuon Solar Team will take part in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia. The race, which sees participants from universities the world over, takes place every two years, and the Nuon Solar Team is always made up of sixteen new students from Delft University of Technology. The team will race their Nuna9 solar car a distance of 3,000 km from Darwin in the North to Adelaide in the South. The team have been world champions six times before and have come second on two occasions.
Vattenfall (as co-sponsor) and Nuon (as main sponsor) have been sponsoring the solar team since 2001.