Twente solar car damaged ahead of World Solar Challenge race in Australia
A solar car developed by students from Twente was damaged during a test drive in preparation for a race later this month in Australia. The exterior sustained damage. According to Solar Team Twente, it will be "certainly not easy to get the car fully race-ready" for the World Solar Challenge, and it remains to be seen if the vehicle will retain its aerodynamic efficiency.
A heavy setback for the Team last week. RED X suffered significant damage during a test day. The incident left the team deeply concerned. However, we are fully committed to putting in every effort to repair the car and strive for victory in the upcoming race! #solarteamtwente pic.twitter.com/J4bEa27fDC— Solar Team Twente (@solarteamtwente) October 2, 2023
The team declined to provide specific details on what occurred, stating, "Due to the race regulations, we unfortunately cannot share that information as it might influence our race."
The test drives took place on the Hidden Valley circuit in Darwin, located in the far north of Australia. On October 21, all participating cars will be assessed for speed, stability, and braking power. Only approved cars will be allowed to race, with the fastest car setting off from the city the following day. The cars will then drive over 3,000 kilometers to the finish line in the southern city of Adelaide.
Twente's car is named RED X. Two other Dutch vehicles will also participate in the race: Nuna 12 from Delft and Green Thunder from Groningen. Eindhoven students have previously participated in a different category but opted out this year.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Solar Challenge was canceled in 2021. The most recent race, in 2019, was won by a team from Leuven, Belgium. The Delft car was leading but caught fire just a few kilometers before the finish line. Only the license plate and a few solar cells remained intact. Holding the license plate, the team symbolically crossed the finish line.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times