Thursday 17 October 2019 - The Belgian Solar Team has won the world title for the very first time! The team has spent 15 months working on BluePoint, the solar car entered into the competition. It was clear from the start that it was a challenge, not a race. Some experienced teams did not even make it to the finish line.
Their first World Cup
The Belgian team has taken the Cup home at their eighth attempt. “It is an incredible feeling to take the podium as world champions!” said Willem-Jan Claes. We realised on Wednesday that it was going to be neck-and-neck. On the penultimate day of racing, the Belgians managed to bring the 43-minute time difference down to next to nothing by applying a smart racing strategy. The students started the last day of racing only 2’27” behind. The team took first place with about 250 kilometres to go. “We focused on the reliability and details of the car this time. It paid off in this race”, said Willem-Jan.
To the limit
The world championship is a challenge, not a race. That much was clear during this edition. Two of the teams in the challenger class, the same classification as the Belgian team, flew off track due to a strong gust of wind. The former world champion had to throw in the towel this morning when their car caught fire.
It was remarkable how close the top teams were throughout this year’s race. In previous years, the distance between the teams was much greater after the second day of racing. The world championship was especially exciting because the various solar cars were very similar and the teams’ strategies were also comparable. The teams therefore had to take their cars to the limit. Some of the teams went too far, with serious consequences. The BluePoint had been test-driven over long distances, so the Agoria Solar Team knew their limit and could reach the finish line in Adelaide first.
🏆Leuvens zonnewagenteam @solarteam_be wint voor het eerst de World Solar Challenge. Wat een prestatie! Proficiat!— Belgian Royal Palace (@MonarchieBe) October 17, 2019
L'équipe belge Agoria Solar Team remporte le Championnat du monde des voitures solaires. Félicitations ! ☀☀️☀️🔋 @WorldSolarChlg#BWSC19@KU_Leuven#MonarchieBe
The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is a 3021-km race, with 46 participant teams from 23 countries.