Passion for Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC)

Competition on our heels, but the finish line in sight


Tim van Leeuwen

Nuon Solar Team 2015

Delft University of Technology

The Netherlands

My most unforgettable memory regarding the BWSC...

When asked for my most unforgettable memory regarding the BWSC, one date immediately comes to mind: October 22nd, 2015.
Never in my life have I gone through such a rollercoaster of emotions: Waking up knowing your Nuon Solar Team has an eight-minute lead and can’t be caught if there is proper sunshine in the morning to charge your battery, but instead crawling out of your tent to see the sky is completely covered in dark grey clouds. Anxiety and sheer nervousness creeps into each team member, especially when we set of at 8:00 am.

Driving our solar vehicle Nuna8, I had no clue what our near competitor was doing, and all I could hope for was not to be passed by a red car. As the clouds disappeared and the sun broke through, Nuna8 sped up more and more, at some stage doing 105 km/h on an empty battery.

Passing through the (unofficial) time finish in the lead settled some of our nerves, especially since after this point the speed limit dropped to 90 and then 60 km/h, speeds we could easily do on solar power only. Still, pure relief kicked in when I drove the final two bends to the finish line, and was surrounded by all team members who’d jumped out of their car and started the party together. Over a year of team bonding, hard work and overcoming setbacks was rewarded at that moment when we drove Nuna8 over the finish line, to the cheers of friends and family.