Tavistock College’s new Greenpower Formula 24 racing team had a fantastic day of racing at Newquay Airport on 18th June. The event involves teams of 11-16 year olds who have to compete in at least one regional heat and finish in the top three to automatically qualify for the International Final held in October at Rockingham Motor Speedway. The event challenges youg people to design racing carts, all using the same, sustainable electric motor.
Tavistock College’s electric endurance race car was solely built by a team of talented Years 8, 9 and 10 students (aged 12-15) as an extracurricular project: Jack Kelly, Jack Kerswill, Erin Bolding, Tom Harrison, Bryce Lovell, Ben Anning and Sebastian Hennessy-Dobbs.
The race track, which was several kilometres long, gave the different teams some fantastic racing experience over two 90 minute endurance races. Cars ranged in design dramatically and throughout the day the students discussed how they would improve their car by shedding weight here and there, changing gear ratios, tweaking aerodynamics and all manner of other engineering decisions.
Pete Keegan, who launched the project at the college, commented: “What was noticeable with our team is it was the students who were tweaking the car’s performance, fixing problems and thinking fast to get issues resolved. I am so proud of their achievement and how they have developed in this last year. They have transformed from a group of kids into young passionate engineers.”
In the first race the students secured an impressive 9th place out of 20 cars. This is a superb achievement for our first time entering a ‘Greenpower’ event. In the second race the students clawed their way up to 8th place and then suffered a broken chain and had to be recovered. Some fast thinking, cool heads and swift spanner work and the team had the car back out to complete a final lap and finish 11th. The students were absolutely beaming after the day’s racing.
“Seeing the variety of cars and engineering involved was awe inspiring. We have been building our car, ‘Mad Max Racing’, for about six months and we have really learnt a great deal in that time. However, the amount we learnt on the day was incredible and we are full of ideas for developing the car further,” said Tom Harrison. Mr Keegan and Mr Moore are going to recruit a new team in the autumn term which will be open for all year 8 and 9 students to apply. This new team will need to fund raise and seek sponsorship in order to raise the necessary funds from the project as the current team did and are still doing in order to keep making these incremental improvements to their car. Special thanks to our sponsors, Tavistock Round Table and the Tavistock Lyons Club for supporting the project from the start.