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Bridgestone World Solar Challenge update – Strong winds blow teams off track

As promised, I said I’d keep you updated on the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC). Unfortunately, we have news today that the race has turned into an inland Sydney to Hobart. Dutch Team Twente and German Team Sonnenwagen were literally blown off track as massive gusts took hold of them on their way from Darwin to Adelaide.

It was only just on Saturday that I spoke to Bridgestone Ambassador Shane Jacobson about the perils of the race. You can see that wide-reaching interview below.

The ‘valiant RED E’ has led most of the way but flipped around 8.30 am this morning , north of Coober Pedy. The driver was uninjured but taken to hospital as a precaution. 

The team will take a look at the damage to determine if it’s worth continuing. 

It was the same fate for fourth placed “Covestro Sonnenwagen” which was forced off the road sustaining damage.

The weather took a turn for the worst yesterday, with leaders battling not just winds but evening sandstorms. Unfortunately, my favoured team Western Sydney University has had to retire, with the same winds damaging the all-important solar panels. 

As a result, a restricted speed limit of 80 kilometres per hour was enforced by BWSC officials, although that has since been removed after a weather assessment.

Taking advantage of the carnage is 2017 Champions Vattenfall, also from the Netherlands who have the lead and are south of the Glendambo checkpoint. Belgian team Agoria sit 40 kilometres behind in second followed by team Tokai and the USA’s Michigan in fourth.

Event Director Chris Selwood AM said, “All drivers are well which is our priority. I wish them the very best and a safe journey to the finish line – where I look forward to welcoming them.” 

For full results follow the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge live team tracker as they make their way towards Adelaide here.

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Bridgestone World Solar Challenge update – Strong winds blow teams off track
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