Western Sydney Uni solar car wins US race

University students from western Sydney have won the American Solar Challenge race with their car. (AAP)

A team of university students from Western Sydney have won a 2800km international race across North America in a solar-powered car they designed and built.

University students from western Sydney are celebrating after becoming the first Australians to win a prestigious international solar car race in the United States.

The 14-person crew from Western Sydney University won the American Solar Challenge - a global competition for tertiary students to design, build and drive solar-powered cars which compete in a 2800km race across North America.

During the week-long race the Australian team was in close competition with the previous champions from the University of Michigan.

But the Aussie car - called Unlimited 2.0 - defeated Michigan by 16 minutes on Sunday local time with project lead Saami Bashar saying the final days of the event were "very stressful, very competitive and very close".

"Michigan is a high-calibre team, they are such fierce competitors, they had a lot to prove by racing against us and they haven't lost a competition since 2001," Mr Bashar told AAP from the US on Monday.

"The fact we've actually won the competition is unbelievable. The guys are just so happy and relieved.

"There's a little bit of pride in being able to stick it to the Americans."

The solar-powered vehicles raced from Nebraska to Oregon travelling about 90km/h with data from the vehicles streamed to the team to monitor performance.

WSU Computing, Engineering and Mathematics School manager Michael Walsh described the achievement as "incredible" given most teams had double the number of members.

"The race was physically gruelling for the WSU students, alumni and volunteers involved in making sure the car was ready to race each day," Mr Walsh said.

Unlimited 2.0 will now be shipped back to Australia where it will be used to test future technologies.

Western Sydney University now plans to build a new car for the 2019 World Solar Challenge.

Source AAP

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