Epsom's Scientists Race Ahead | Epsom College
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Epsom’s Scientists Race Ahead

Strong performances in qualifying see Epsom's electric racers on the verge of international finals

Each year for the past three years, Epsom has devised, built and raced electric cars against schools and colleges across the UK, with great success.

This year’s competition kicked off in similar fashion, with Epsom’s STEM team qualifying strongly, including the teams’ first podium finish.

The impressive performances should see the team make it through to the international finals at Goodwood next month, with official confirmation expected any day now.

Qualifying took place at Dunsfold (made famous as TV’s Top Gear test track) and Castle Coombe, on 10 and 17 September respectively.

Dunsfold Heats

16 members of the STEM team – made up of Upper Fourth, Fifth Form, Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth – travelled to Dunsfold.

They departed Epsom at 6:40am, to arrive ready for scrutineering and the races. The Upper Fourth and Fifth Form pupils were entered in to the F24 category, while the Sixth Form competed in the F24+ category.

The events comprise of a practice session run over 90 minutes to allow teams to test and prepare their cars for the race. Towards the end of the practice session both teams suffered minor technical issues forcing them to work hard to prepare the cars for the races.

The F24+ category has a single 60-minute race with teams competing to travel the greatest distance possible. The skill is in finding the right balance between going as fast as possible and preserving the batteries to be able to complete the maximum possible distance.

Thomas Stapely was in the driving seat for the F24+ race and drove superbly. Despite a slow start, caused by launch control issues, he came back through the field and finished 12 out of 25, and fifth in class.

The F24 team were up next, Aran Pramoj, Zoe Moir and Sophia Pirrie at the wheel. In this 90 minute race teams must complete two mandatory pit stops to change drivers. The aim is to travel the greatest distance possible.

Aran made a good start and, after four laps, handed over to Zoe who continued to gain places. Sophia then took over for the final 40 minutes of the race and, with other cars slowing, we made up a number of places to finish 15 out of 55 (tenth in class).

Castle Coombe Qualification 

On Sunday 17 September, Ed Cheeseman, Kalina Hristova, Leo Skingley, Zac Power, Thomas Stapley, Tan Chiba and Josh Crockett, made an early start to attend the final F24+ qualification race at the Castle Coombe track in Wiltshire.

Following a dry practice session the heavens opened in time for our race. However, despite the wet conditions, Leo Skingley expertly drove us to 13 out of 30, which saw us finish 2nd in class and on the podium for the first time.

This was a brilliant weekend to finish off the season and now the team waits to hear if they have qualified for the International Finals at Goodwood in October.