On Sunday 12 May, the Whitgift Racing team travelled to Goodwood to race their Greenpower electric car. Since the start of the academic year, a group of dedicated Sixth Formers and Fifth Form helpers have been working hard to develop the electric car. The annual competition challenges students to design and build an electric race car to compete against other schools, colleges and universities. Teams use the same motor and batteries and there are two age levels within the competition. Formula 24 (F24) is for students aged 11-16 and Formula 24+ (F24+) for Sixth Form and university students. Whitgift Racing’s first car, WR01, was entered in both the F24 and F24+ competitions.
During the first F24 race Luca Bower (First Form) did an impressive job as driver, especially through adverse circumstances of a red flag delay, and finished 23rd. The car was then entered into the F24+ race, unfortunately the less change-over time meant a slightly late start, with Ben Boros (Upper Sixth Form) as driver still determined to catch up. However, it was strategically decided to pull out of the race early to let the motor cool before the final F24 race.
The aim this year was to improve on the 12th place finish at last year’s race at Goodwood Motor Circuit. The experience of racing the car previously enabled the team to determine the changes necessary to improve the car’s performance. The students were ambitious with their plans, opting to remove the old wood and aluminium bodywork and replacing with lightweight carbon fibre.
Upper Sixth Form student, Jack Skinner commented, “Working on the Greenpower car has given me further experience in engineering and has helped me for my future as a designer”.
The final race required at least three different drivers. Whitgift started with driver Enzo Moore (First Form) who put in the best lap time of the day, before he changed with second driver Lachlan Seymour (First Form) and Hugo Stremes (Fifth Form) driving the final leg. The Whitgift car progressed its way into 3rd place with only 4 laps left, and a strong finish saw them overtake other cars struggling with depleting battery life to take 1st place.
Deputy Head of First Form, Mr Matthew Taylor summarised, “It was great to see all the boys’ hard work and dedication to improving the car pay off, with many of them giving up significant amounts of their own time. We can now look forward to some of the other races later in the summer and the Greenpower National Final, held at Silverstone in October.”