Young racers accelerate up the grid

Young racers accelerate up the grid

16th July 2014


A TEAM of young racing drivers and engineers have accelerated up the grid after finishing in the top ten of a schools competition.

The team from Bede Academy, in Blyth, finished seventh in the regional over-16 Formula 24+ championship of Greenpower, which promotes sustainable engineering to young people.

The under-16 Formula 24 team came 13th in their races held at Croft Circuit, in North Yorkshire, which attracted 43 teams from schools across the North of England.

The team fielded two cars between three 90-minute races, preparing them in the pit lane garages before lining up on the grid.

Mark Davies, head of engineering at Bede Academy, said: "Overall we were pleased with the performances and it was great to get a top ten result. We competed strongly against teams that have been doing Greenpower far longer than us and have been able to develop their cars.

"The students worked well as a team and it was great to see their hard work paying off as our cars proved to be pretty competitive."

The academy bought its cars three years ago with the aim of improving their performance each year.

Mr Davies added: “We have replaced steel with aluminium but we also try to train the drivers to drive in the most efficient way, conserving the pair of 12V batteries each car is allowed. Our Year 12 students have studied the best driving lines, tyre pressures and driver weight to gain the most time.

“All the Year 12 students involved are taking BTEC engineering, so this offers some great practical experience alongside the work we do in the classroom.”

Each car, which can reach speeds of up to 30mph, must go through scrutineering to ensure it complies with all 78 race regulations.

The Formula 24 team comprised Imogen Luke, Alex Irvine, Aiesha Grear, Matthew Eastern and Charlotte Harrison-Wear, while the sixth form team was Graham McColgan, Daniel Pattinson, Jamie Maughan and Demi Gornall.

Demi, who is studying engineering and is considering an apprenticeship on leaving school, said: “As the technician, it’s my job to make sure the car is safe for the drivers. It’s been a good experience competing here against other teams.”

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