The Young Engineers Club hit the road for the first time this year when they took their electric powered car to Aintree race circuit in late September to take part in the North West heat of the Greenpower Challenge.
The challenge was to design, build and then race an electric powered car in two 1½ hour endurance races. Although we have been building and racing cars for some years now, this is the first time we had raced at Aintree.
The hardy band of students and DT teacher Steve Hutchinson set off in the school minibus, with the car in a van kindly supplied and driven by Simon Moore of TMS. The journey across the Pennines was very slow but we finally arrived at the circuit using the famous Melling Road. This circuit was used for the British F1 Grand Prix and is inside part of the Grand National course. The car flew through scrutineering and was prepared for the practice sessions, with each driver given a couple of laps to get used to the circuit.
Race one soon got underway and our car pulled up the field into a solid 8th position. For some reason the car was not working well into the strong headwind and we eventually slipped down the field to finish in 12th position out of the 40 starters. The second race was not so good and a broken axle support and failing batteries ended our race with 25 minutes to go. We were a little disappointed overall, especially since we missed the national final only by a couple of miles.
We are going to look at future plans over the coming weeks. Ideally we would like to build a brand new car and we are looking for sponsorship to help us do this. We also need to manage the available battery power better and are looking for a bespoke current limiting speed controller. If anyone can help us with sponsorship or a controller we would be very grateful! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01423 866061. Thanks!