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On Sunday 22 October 2013, we participated in a race at Castle Combe. It was the Western Region Event, where the top teams would qualify for the final.  We never expected to win; our aim was just to keep going, which is why we were delighted to achieve the position of 37th out of 42 cars. We did well considering it was our first time racing, and we hadn’t practised other than on the school field.

The day started promptly at 7:30am, with practices shortly afterwards. The practice didn’t go too well for us; we got to the start line, and then found we couldn’t accelerate. So, we pushed the car back in to the paddock and investigated. We quickly discovered our simple mistake ......... we hadn’t plugged the batteries in! As quickly as we could, we rushed back to the race track and started afresh.

The actual race started a few hours afterwards, and the driving team all got to race. The batteries lasted for at least two drivers, racing for approximately 30 minutes each: we had 4 hours and 7 drivers. Throughout the race, many other teams broke down and trackside recovery was required, many managed to rejoin, but for some, the day was over. We had done spectacularly well, right up until the end, when the car stopped on a slight hill. Luckily, we didn’t get a DNF (did not finish) because it was one minute until the end. This was very frustrating as the car performed well, we just ran out of “juice”!

In order to track our progress around the track, unique sensors were equipped to each car, to monitor a variety of different aspects. They show where we are on the track, and our speed. From this, our average speed, for the whole 4 hours, was calculated at 19mph.

The race was still good fun and we achieved our aim. We are now back to the “drawing board” to improve the car so we might get into the top twenty, or even the top 10!

Dan Greening, 8E


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