The race is over!
During the last days, Ray and Danny crossed a continent, drove around 3000 km and saw a lot of sceneries and different climates. During the journey to southern Australia, our boys were present at eight control stops and they slept at many different places: in a camp, in a roadhouse, or in the nature. They saw a lot of solar cars, but unfortunately they did not see a single kangaroo. Some teams spent more days in the outback than others, some did not make it without help or some even were not allowed to start the race, since their solar car did not pass the scrutineering. However, all the stress is over at this moment and after cheering up in Adelaide, many teams have left on their vacation.
The ceremonial finishing line was in the city center of Adelaide, but the official finishing line (where the timer was stopped) was set outside the city, at Torrens Parade Ground. This was done in order to avoid all the traffic in the city center and to gather all members of each participating team to cross the ceremonial finishing line together. After passing the finishing line, the cars went through a last scrutineering to check if they were still complying with the regulations. Once all the procedure was done, the celebration begun! Some teams ignored the outside temperature (10°C) and jumped into a nearby fountain to celebrate their title!
After the initial celebration, the cars were shown to the public and all teams were interviewed. Ray and Danny, even though we did not participate in the race, were interviewed by a Dutch TV show called “Oranje boven, down under”, which was later aired on VPRO (Dutch TV channel). Later on, after dinner, everybody ended up in Belgian Beer Café. This place became a good starting ground for new friendships between teams – they cheered together, they shared details about the race and all emotions they experienced.
The following day, a parade through Adelaide took place. All cars drove from Victoria Square to Victoria Park, which was followed by the official award ceremony. Over there, all teams, sponsors and volunteers were thanked and awards were handed out. Besides the award for winners, there was also a trophy for innovation, for spirit of the event and many others. When the ceremony was over, all teams exchanged their team t-shirts. This was followed by another part in Belgian Beer Café. Due to the swapped t-shirts, it was difficult to recognize the team members, but it actually did not matter since everybody came with only one reason: to unite and to enjoy the moment.
Finally, when all celebrations were over, the teams either went back home or on a well-deserved vacation in Australia or New Zealand. Some felt partially relived after experiencing a lot of tension, others felt sad. They were working very hard for two years and now it is over. Now it is time to pass everything to the hands of their successors.
We want to congratulate all participants, especially the winners. The top five teams were (in order from 1st to 5th place): Nuon Solar Team (NL), University of Michigan Solar Car Team (USA), Punch Powertrain Solar Team (BE), Tokai University (JP), Solar Team Twente (NL). Additionally, we would like to congratulate Solar Team Eindhoven (NL) for their victory in Cruiser Class.
We cannot wait for our first entry in BWSC 2019!