Holland's Nuon finishes streets ahead in 2017 World Solar Challenge

The Nuon Solar Team from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands entering the lightest car in the field reached the finish line in 37 hours 10 minutes and 41 seconds. — Reuters

This year's result was never really in doubt, with the team's Nuna 9 solar auto leading from beginning to end and crossing the finish line on Thursday two hours ahead of its nearest rival.

The team from the Netherlands crossed the finish line in Adelaide on Thursday, clinching a seventh victory in the World Solar Challenge with chief engineer Marten Arthens describing it as the "best feeling ever". We knew it was going to go either really well, or really not well. I haven't done that a week.

But first, the team took the now traditional dip in the Victoria Square fountain as supporters cheered them.

After three third place finishes in the global race in the past five years, UM's team, which was the reigning North American champion, took second for its best finish in the history of the event.

Nuon has reigned supreme in the Challenger Class of the World Solar Challenge since first entering the race in 2001, its most recent triumph coming in a relatively tight 2015 race where it finished 10 minutes ahead of its compatriots Solar Team Twente.

Esta Dyngenouts, mother of technical manager Steven, said the group had all been working extremely hard. "We're all very happy with how things turned out".

The leading Australian auto, Red Swift from Western Sydney University, is now in sixth place but still has over 400km to cover before reaching Adelaide.

The win is the seventh for Nuon, with their auto overcoming cloudy skies as they took the lead early and stayed ahead in the elite Challenger class, which features slick, single seat aerodynamic vehicles built for sustained endurance and total energy efficiency.

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