Solar Challenge Morocco Day 5

Solar Challenge Morocco Day 5

The last day of the Solar Challenge Morocco brought just as many obstacles and challenges with it than the previous days. Nonetheless, we crossed the finish line and ended up 4th in the overall ranking! We are proud of this end result, we overcame all hardships and kept our head held high at all times.

During the last kilometers of Day 4, some of our team members started feeling sick and it only got worse after we arrived at camp. After our first week in Agadir many of us already suffered from diarrhoea and stomach aches due to the different food and worse water quality in Morocco. Most of us recovered quickly and our bodies got used to this new diet, so it was odd that it happened all over again after almost six weeks in North-Africa. When we heard from other teams that their team members also got sick, it dawned on us that the cause might be food poisoning from yesterday’s dinner. Around 1/3 of our team spent the night close to the toilet and wasn’t able to fulfil their usual tasks. This morning didn’t look much better, so we had to work around this issue. Luckily, none of our solar car drivers were affected so we only had to swap drivers of some convoy cars. People who felt extremely sick were taken to Agadir directly by the organization, thanks for that! However, we were wrong to assume that this was the last medical issue of the day. When we were already on our way with Green Spirit, we heard that one of us who stayed behind sick got stung by a scorpion! She was brought to a local hospital where she was in safe hands. Luckily, she was well enough again to celebrate with us at the finish line later in the afternoon!

TDSR team member Ben being sick

But back to the start of the day – we started at 08:09am and headed back towards Agadir where the race started on Monday. We got overtaken by Chalmers early on, but we caught up with them again after the last mandatory control stop, at around 1:15pm. Shortly after, our strategy team calculated that reaching the finish before 5:30 (as required by the organization) without trailering is not guaranteed. We decided to keep driving as long as possible with the goal to get Green Spirit over the finish by herself. Unfortunately, 50km before the finish one of our suspensions broke so we had to trailer Green Spirit after all. At 5:57, we reached the stadium of Agadir and even took Green Spirit out of the trailer to let her cross the finish line.

Green Spirit at the last control stop
Top Dutch Solar Racing truck on its way to Agadir

Finishing the Solar Challenge Morocco was an unbelievably relieving moment for all of us. We had worked so hard to come here and even though not everything went according to plan, we are still so proud of our performance and accomplishment. Just like during the BWSC 2019, we finished 4th and competed against some of the best teams on the planet. Against all odds, we made it work and no one can take this from us. Now it's time to celebrate!