Since this weekend, the Belgian Solar Team can call itself not only world champion but also European champion. The solar car BluePoint was the winner of the iLumen European Solar Challenge on Sunday at 1pm. The highest number of laps was thanks to a fast car and a strong strategy. This is the third win in a row for the Belgian Solar Team, after winning in Chile in 2018 and at the World Championship in Australia in 2019.
The iLumen European Solar Challenge lasts 24 hours and takes place at the Circuit de Zolder. The Agoria Solar Team participated in the race with two solar cars, the BluePoint and the Punch 2. The BluePoint, the newest car of the team, crossed the finish line with the highest number of laps. The Belgian team took home the title, with the Dutch Solar Team from Twente in second place. This victory is due to a fast car and a racing strategy that differed greatly from other teams: "During this race it is allowed to recharge the battery twice. We have chosen to charge only once, which allowed us to drive one hour longer laps", says Romanie Cnockaert, strategist of the Belgian Solar Team from Wervik, West Flanders. Due to the favorable weather conditions, the record for the highest number of laps in 24 hours was improved by a fourth by solar cars.
The Punch 2, the car the team built in 2017, finished fifth in the race. The big difference is due to the age of the car. The cars use the very latest technologies that are constantly changing. This is also one of the reasons why the Solar Team keeps building a completely new solar car for the biennial World Championship.
The victory at the European Championship is the third victory in a row for the Belgian Solar Team. In 2018 the team finished first after the challenging Carrera Solar Atacama in Chile, across the Atacama desert. The following year, the team became world champion thanks to an exciting victory at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the world championship for solar cars. Professional driver Bert Longin was one of the drivers in the last two races. "Winning never gets used to: that remains a euphoric moment," said Bert Longin.
The next race of the Belgian team will take place in South Africa in February. In October of 2021, the team will defend the world title in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the world championship for solar cars in Australia.