The batteries of the Team Solar Philippines vehicle Sikat II blew up while it was stopped at Tennant Creek on Day Three of the 3028km race.
Fortunately no one was in the car at the time, and no one was injured.
The fire brigade arrived on the scene to find Sikat II smouldering in the desert. The batteries were removed and although the car suffered some damage, the team was hopeful of getting back on the road and completing the Challenge.
One long night and a fresh battery pack later, the Sikat II rejoined the race at 11:14am today, with the team issuing the triumphant tweet: “We’re a go!”
Unfortunately, fire has been a theme of this year’s race. An arson attack engulfed 4200 square kilometres of bushland on Monday and brought much of the race field to a halt as a stretch of the Stuart Highway was closed.
With the race back underway, the Japanese team from Tokai University was the first cross the South Australian border. Earlier this morning it had a 40km lead over the second-placed team.
The first cars are expected to cross the finish line sometime on Thursday.