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Greenpower Racing

Greenpower inspiring engineers logo

St George's Academy currently run a Greenpower Racing club on ​Ruskington Campus where a number of students have the opportunity to build and race cars. 

The Greenpower team were featured on BBC's Newsround, where BBC sports reporter, Mike Bushell, travelled to the Academy's Ruskington Campus to find out more about Greenpower. Following is the Newsround feature which was aired nationally:

BEDFORD

We visited Bedford Autodrome on Sunday 11th September and took all 3 of ours cars for the Eastern Regional Heat. The day started well with all 3 cars going at a decent pace. Running in 3rd, 5th and 8th. And a welcome relief to see the new car, Blaze, finally get some miles on the clock. Unfortunately this didn’t last long, a broken front axle from all of the hard cornering saw an end to its day, dropping from 3rd to last position and back in to the trailer. Disappointing but Sirrocco managed to finish in 4th position (32.5 miles), just 1 minute behind 3rd place and still catching before being interrupted by the chequered flag. Mistral finished in a respectable 8th (30.8 miles). 23 cars started.

In race two, Sirocco and Mistral took to the track and made steady starts, but before Sirocco’s chain jumped off, losing 17 minutes of the 90 minute race. Mistral carried on as usual, trundling around to finish the race in 18th (23.5 miles) with what appeared to be a bad set of batteries. Sirocco eventually got started again and continued to put in lap times that were consistent from the start, right through to the end. It went from dead last, up to 11th (29.7 miles) and just 5.9 miles behind the eventual winner. Calculations show that it would have been in with a chance of winning if it hadn’t had a problem. 22 cars started

All in all a tough day at the races.

CASTLE COMBE

Yesterday we visited Castle Combe, near Bristol. After everyone being woken up at 3am by a torrential downpour and hurricane wind we started the day with bright sunshine. Race 1 started under another downpour, which went down well with the drivers. All 3 cars started well and put in a number of consistent laps, with good speedy pit stops. Blaze finally delivered some good times and a distance which was more realistic, finishing 7th (33.3 miles). Sirocco made steady progress and racked up 29.6 miles finishing 17th. Mistral, was Mistral and was as reliable as always, finishing 13th (31.5 miles). All 3 cars just ran out of battery power on the final lap and joined a queue 15 other cars in the same situation due to the wind. 45 cars started.

Race 2 finally saw some bright weather and less wind. All 3 cars started well, again, before our first problem of the day. Sirocco’s chain issues reappeared, which took 23 minutes to complete. Despite missing this time, it still managed to come from the back of the field to finish 25th (29.6 miles – the same as the first race). Mistral continued to go well, grabbing 15th position (improving its mileage to 33.3 miles). Blaze had a new drive belt fitted for the 2nd race and went very well, finishing 9th and racking up 37 miles. Our best distance, this year. 45 cars started.

 

Check out the programme on page 20-21, here.

FINALS

So we have finally completed the Greenpower 2016 season. Our first year running 3 cars. It has been a learning curve this year with a high percentage of new students joining the team. A huge congratulations needs to go out to the team for another fantastic season, despite the fact we didn’t get on the podium in any races. Their desire to fix problems quickly and get back out there meant that they have still achieved a huge amount. Before this years final Blaze had only finished 1 race so to get in the final was amazing considering all of the teething problems in its first season.

Sunday 16th October 2016 – International Final, Rockingham

Greenpower Finals Greenpower Finals

Race 1
The day started with torrential rain, and absolutely no chance of testing or any team parade. The race started 10 minutes late due to the continued lashing rain. All 3 cars went off well and managed to avoid any major incidents on a very wet track. Pits stops were very good and the cars did everything we asked of them and Blaze completed the race with plenty of battery power remaining.

Positions Race 1
Blaze 16th – 35.3miles
Sirocco M2 20th – 35.3miles
Mistral 36th – 30.9miles

Race 2
During the interval Blaze received a gear change to see if it was capable of going a little further, having not had a huge amount of testing it was a chance to see what it could achieve. A decision that could have cost us a few miles as 10 minutes before Race 2 commenced the wind decided to pick up to a level that would affect all of the cars. All 3 cars started the race well before Blaze received a clip from the Plume project on lap 2, sending it in to a spin and off in to the grass. Young Jasmine Wells doing very well to recover it and get back on to the track. The only issue to arise was the time lost and battery power lost having to pull off from a standing position, which would affect the last pitstop and last 10 minutes of the race, running out of power just before the end. A real shame as it had made good progress back through the field. Both Sirocco and Mistral had an uneventful race and did well considering their age.

Positions Race 2
Blaze 27th – 33.8miles
Sirocco 31st – 33.8miles
Mistral 35th – 32.3 miles

That leaves us with overall positions for the year out of 223 cars

Blaze 24th
Sirocco 29th
Mistral 38th

Awards for engineering - IET Engineering Award Ford Dunton 2016

And with some potentially ground-breaking developments coming for 2017 with the help of some of our sponsors we could see a very different season next year. Watch out Blaze is about!

For more information about Greenpower, speak to Mr Mitchell, or visit the Greenpower website at http://www.greenpower.co.uk/