Dutch team wins Australia solar-powered car race 7th time

FILE: In this Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, the Punch Powertrain Solar Team car from Belgium competes during the second race day of the 2017 World Solar Challenge in Kulgera, Australia. A Dutch team has won an international solar-powered car race across Australia for a seventh time, with a University of Michigan car likely to take second place in the biennial event. Punch Powertrain came in third. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, File)

ADELAIDE, Australia — A Dutch team won a solar-powered car race across Australia for a seventh time Thursday, with a University of Michigan car taking second place in the biennial event.

The Nuon team's Nuna 9 car averaged more than 80 kph (50 mph) to reach the World Solar Challenge finish line in the southern coastal city of Adelaide after five days of racing across 3,022 kilometers (1,878 miles) of Outback highway from Darwin in the north.

The Delft University of Technology-based team has competed eight times.

The University of Michigan team's car, Novum, finished an hour later, with Belgium team Punch Powertrain close behind in third place.

Nuon team engineer Marten Arthens described the win as the "best feeling ever."

"We're going to celebrate, but first I'm going to take a shower. I haven't done that in a week," Arthens said.

The Michigan team has competed in 12 Australian races since 1990.

This year's race attracted 95 teams from more than 20 countries. It marks 30 years since the first World Solar Challenge in 1987.

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