During the course of the year, a small group of Third and Fourth Formers are to be found in the Design and Technology Department on Wednesday afternoons, arranging their time around their sporting commitments to build an electric racing car. Last Thursday the Young Engineers Group took the car they began building last October to the Liverpool Motor Club Circuit at Aintree for the Greenpower North West Regional Heat of the National Formula 24 competition. The race meeting was attended by over 30 teams from as far afield as Scotland.
After a drivers’ briefing and an initial scrutiny of the cars to make sure they met all the regulations of the competition, each team took to the track so that the drivers could familiarise themselves with the circuit and get used to driving with other cars around them.
During the midday break, representatives from Imech (Institute of Mechanical Engineers) formally inspected each car and talked to the team members. Then it was time to get down to racing. The Shrewsbury team made their final checks and prepared to take on some of the best cars in the country in a four-hour endurance race which would entail three changes of batteries and five changes of driver – each car trying to gain a qualifying distance for the National Finals at Goodwood next month.
At 1:00pm the flag dropped and they were off.
As the race progressed, Shrewsbury’s car seemed to be going slower than expected, compared with its excellent performance back in May at the first Greenpower race of the season at Mallory Park. Had we selected the wrong gear ratios for the circuit? Did we need to review our race strategy?
The boys battled on and completed the four hours of racing feeling a little disappointed, but discussion soon started on how to improve performance and distance for the next race at Castle Combe Circuit in Wiltshire in ten days’ time. And spirits were soon lifted when we were given the news that for the second year running, our team had been awarded the Imech “Best Engineered Car” Trophy.
We appreciate the help from the local companies Mansers, Quest 88 and RMJ Mouldings who have supported the boys, Edward Jones (M), Mat Owen-Sinclair (M), Alex King (M), Paddy Cope (Ch), Cosmo Barratt (I) and Thomas Scott Bell (I), this year. A few more miles and we could be off to Goodwood next month, and then it’s back into the workshop to start building a completely new car ready for next season.
Pictured above (l to r) with D&T Master John Holloway are Edward Jones (M), Matt Owen-Sinclair (M), Cosmo Barratt (I) and Thomas Scott-Bell (I) in the driving seat