Pupils Experience Life in the Pit Lane With Motorsport UK | Epsom College
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Pupils Experience Life in the Pit Lane With Motorsport UK

Epsom College played host to Motorsport UK and the FIA’s Girls on Track day this week. The event is part of a drive to inspire girls to get involved in Science, Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM). During the morning Epsom’s Middle Fourth girls, along with 22 Year 9 pupils from local secondary¬† Epsom and Ewell High School, took part in a range of motorsports-themed activities, including:

  • Experiencing life in a racing pit lane by performing a pitstop, changing the wheels on a racing car at pace
  • Meeting Motorsport UK’s racetrack Doctor, Clare Morden, and learning lifesaving skills on resuscitation and using a defibrillator
  • Working with well-known Sky Sports F1 presenter, Rosanna Tennant, to produce an interview to camera
  • Testing their reactions with some fun games, including the Batak wall response game
  • Learning coding with Lego robotics and Pasco data loggers
  • Carrying out experiments to determine the energy content of different types of fuels

“The day was designed to open the girls’ eyes to the range of opportunities that exist in motorsport and STEM-related careers. I was really impressed with our girls’ engagement in the activities, which they tackled with great enthusiasm!”¬† Teacher of Physics, Dr Chris Telfer-Mason

The Challenges

Each of the activities was designed to demonstrate the wide range of roles, skills and teamwork required to make a successful motorsport team.

Two hotly-contested challenges were the Batak Reaction Challenge. This was won by Lara Thurman (Rv) with a score of 52, the highest the Girls on Track team had ever seen.

The Pit Stop Challenge saw a team of six girls from Epsom and Ewell’s High School win in an impressive time of 10.88 seconds. The second-placed team from Epsom was only 0.18 seconds behind, demonstrating the fine margins between first and second place in motorsport.

The girls also enjoyed the Presenting Challenge, designed to take them out of their comfort zone. They were tasked with writing and delivering a piece to camera on the topic of winning, or coming second or third in a race. Sky Sports presenter, Rosanna Tennant, was particularly impressed with Dara Spasova (Cr) who spoke confidently and asked thoughtful questions – perhaps a career in broadcasting beckons?

 

The Guest Speakers

To finish the morning off the girls heard from three guest speakers:

 

DANIEL BAILEY

Co-Founder of Veloce Racing (Extreme E and W Series) and former pupil of Epsom College. Dan spoke to the girls about the opportunities Epsom afford him, the friendships he built, and the wide range of roles in motorsports. Dan spoke passionately about how he wanted to encourage future generations of girls into engineering and motorsport, particularly where they are underrepresented.

 

JAMIE CHADWICK

The defending W Series Champion and Veloce Extreme E driver spoke eloquently to the girls about how school sports and sibling rivalry with her brother led her into the world of karting and then motor racing.

Jamie told the girls that “you should chase your dreams”, saying “if you get the chance, go for it… anything is possible if you work hard.”

 

CATHERINE BOND MUIR

The CEO of W Series talked to the girls about how she found herself getting into motorsport after a career in law. She challenged the girls to find a passion but also to make the most of the opportunities they have. She stressed the importance of enjoying what you do, and to wake up excited by it every day.

Our Upper Fourth to Upper Sixth girls also had the chance to drop in and meet our guests to speak to them about motorsports and STEM, whilst also trying their hand at some of the challenges.

Our thanks go to Motorsport UK, The W Series, Daniel Bailey and Veloce Racing, Jamie Chadwick, Catherine Bond Muir, and a particularly big thank you to Jenny Tcherniak from Motorsport UK for all her time in planning and organising the event.