Sunday saw the beginning of the race season for the College’s two Greenpower racing teams EC Racer and Veloce EC Rider. The challenge of Greenpower is to design and build a car that can go the furthest during the race on a single set of batteries.
This year, with the popularity of the STEM club continuing to grow, Mr Johnstone and Dr Telfer-Mason decided to enter teams in two different categories the F24 race for the Upper Fourth and Fifth Form and the F24+ for Sixth Form team.
Since September the teams have been working hard on the design and build of their cars, they have made the cars lighter, modified the drive chains, and installed new electronic speed controllers that help to regulate and power the cars’ motors.
After an early start on Sunday, the teams arrived at the Goodwood circuit. The cars have to go through a scrutineering process to ensure they meet the strict rules, this includes brake-testing, a ride-height check, chassis modifications, and checks to ensure that the driver can get out of the car quickly.
Both cars completed this and were certified to race, the teams then did their final preparations before joining the track for the practice session. This was the first meet post-pandemic and there were over 120 cars racing. The teams fine-tuned the cars as well as completing some long runs to ensure reliability ahead of the 60 (F24+) or 90 (F24) minute race.
The F24 teams were up first against 80 other teams. During the 90-minute race they had to complete two driver changes in the pit stops, this is an area where they can make up or lose time on their competitors and our team did a good job. The team completed a distance of 24 miles in their opening 90-minute race, finishing 33rd in class.
Our senior team – against a field of approximately 30 teams – then performed well, finishing fifth in class with a distance of 14.28 miles in their 60-minute race. The Upper Fourth and Fifth Form team made a gearing adjustment going on to finish 18th in class with 29.93 miles covered in the second 90-minute race.
It was a good day overall and the teams will now have time ahead of the summer holidays to make modifications to the cars before the next race in September, which is hosted at Dunsfold, also known as the Top Gear test track.
By Dr Telfer-Mason