Leading car in World Solar Challenge bursts into flames

Oct 17, 2019 11:24 AM ET
  • NunaX car of Dutch team catches fire 250km before finish of 3,000km Darwin to Adelaide race
Leading car in World Solar Challenge bursts into flames
Image: Vattenfall Solar Team/Facebook
The leading car in the World Solar Challenge has caught fire and withdrawn from the race a little more than 250km from the Adelaide finish.

The NunaX car of Dutch team Vattenfall caught fire just before Mambray Creek on Thursday.

The incident has left Belgian team Agoria in front and heading for victory in the 3,000km event from Darwin.

“The team is devastated, our solar car caught fire and we won’t be finishing,” Vattenfall tweeted.

“Currently managing the fires and figuring out what happened.”

The team said the driver, identified as Tim, was unhurt.

It’s the second day of drama in the challenge with another Dutch car, RED E from Solar Team Twente, crashing out of the race on Wednesday.

Organisers said “unprecedented” wind gusts flipped RED E just north of Coober Pedy.

The driver was unhurt but was taken to hospital for observation before being released.

The conditions also claimed German team Sonnenwagen and Kogakuin from Japan with their cars blown off the road.

Both teams were delayed but were expected to reach the finish.

Agoria’s car Bluepoint was due to cross the line around noon on Thursday.

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