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Solar-powered car leading 3000km race across Australia goes up in flames

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Vattenfall's NunaX caught fire 250km from the finish line in Adelaide. Source: Breakfast

A Dutch racing team was left helpless watching their car go up in flames in Australia during the World Solar Challenge.

Vattenfall were forced to watch on as their solar-powered NunaX vehicle, which was leading the race prior to the incident, caught fire during the final stages of the race which finished in Adelaide.

The vehicle caught fire 250 kilometres from the finish line after a 3000km trek from Darwin.

“The team is devastated, our solar car caught fire and we won’t be finishing,” Vattenfall tweeted.

The car’s driver - only identified as Tim - was unhurt, the team added.    

The cause of the fire, which allowed Belgium's team Agoria to win in a time of nearly 35 hours, is being investigated.