Electric atmosphere at Greenpower International final

80 schools race in first ever Greenpower International Final at GoodwoodFamous faces Lord March, David Richards CBE and Jason Bradbury attendDavid Cullimore wins IET Formula F24+ for the third year in successionThe Weald School IET Formula F24 team take second title in eight years

Thousands of competitors, supporters and spectators turned out at Goodwood Motor Circuit on Sunday, 12 October, for the inaugural Greenpower Education Trust International Final.

Famous faces in attendance included TV’s gadget guru Jason Bradbury, along with patrons of the charity Lord March and David Richards CBE.

Inspiring the next generation of engineers both in the UK, and now globally with increased support from Siemens, Greenpower offers a unique and exciting hands-on learning experience for school and university students.

Young engineering talents are able, via Greenpower, to design, build and race electric cars as part of a vital STEM education initiative. The International Final, held at the iconic Goodwood race track, is the culmination of a series of heats held throughout the year, and the IET Formula F24 (11-16 year olds), IET Formula F24+ (16-25 years) and Silverline Corporate Challenge categories have now crowned their 2014 champions.

IET Formula 24 winners The Weald School, from Billingshurst in West Sussex, claimed its second title, having won back in 2006. The Black Bullet team principal Keith Russell was delighted to have won this year.

“We lose as a team and we win as a team,” he said. “At the end of the event, all of the kids in our team will have gone home and told their families that the team won and that’s the important thing about the Greenpower initiative.

“Last year, at a rain-affected final, we gambled on our strategy; we sat down with the kids and said we’d gamble and they went with us, but we lost and ended up fourth.”

Weald School driver, Lucy Kirkby (14 years old), said: “Every part of doing Greenpower has been fun – making the car and designing it means we get familiarised with machinery, which is good, plus the racing is really fun.”

Cullimore Racing, led by Greenpower graduate and ambassador David Cullimore, raced their ‘Jet’ car to victory in the IET Formula 24+ final – the third time Cullimore Racing has dominated at Goodwood. From Cheltenham, David Cullimore is also currently on a placement at Red Bull Racing and is the most successful Greenpower participant during the 16 year history of the charity.

Cullimore said: “My car has remained fundamentally the same throughout my three years as champion, but there have been so many tweaks over the years that, aside from the basics, it’s changed quite a lot. The key is that you can’t stand still – you have to keep progressing in order to stay ahead of the competition.

“When I did Greenpower at school before going it alone with my own team, my maths grades weren’t good enough to do mechanical engineering at university, so I ended up doing industrial design. But I have learnt so many skills here at Greenpower that it’s really helped me progress in motorsport.”

The Silverline Corporate Challenge trophies were awarded to wrap-up the prize giving ceremony – with the Renishaw Plc ‘Reprobation’ team taking the accolade, having competed against other businesses including Jaguar Land Rover, Prodrive and Lockheed Martin.

With teams from the UK, South Africa, the USA, Poland, Portugal and Ireland this year’s final was appropriately given the title ‘International Final’ rather than a ‘National Final’, which is how it has been referred to for the last 15 years. Team South Africa comprised students from the Mandela School of Science & Technology in Mvezo, South Africa, built by Siemens – and this was the first time the students have ventured away from home soil.

Greenpower CEO, Jeremy Way, concluded: “It has been well and truly the biggest and best event that Greenpower has had the pleasure of hosting. Thank you to all the teams, teachers and volunteers that have supported our first ever International Final – it has been incredible to see all the enthusiasm and skills of the participants. We welcome more teams for next year, and will now start planning for 2015.”

PATRON AND SPONSOR QUOTES

Lord March said: “Greenpower is very much part of Goodwood; the charity has held its Finals and other events here for 16 years, plus of course it is a local initiative.

“Greenpower Education Trust plays a big part in not only building interest and excitement in motorsport, but also in bringing children and teams together in a brilliant way to increase interest in engineering. Greenpower is helping them develop a way of looking at engineering as a career, a way forward in something that they would actually like to do.”

David Richards, Chairman of Aston Martin Racing and Prodrive, said: “Electric cars are much more common now and, no doubt, will be even more so in the future. It is therefore very appropriate that we get young people engrossed in this technology and, in a more general sense, get them focusing on science and engineering.

“These subjects affect all of our lives in countless different ways; but the engineering industry is also the backbone of the British economy. It contributes a trillion pounds to our economy and represents a quarter of the UK’s GDP.

“The wonderful thing about Greenpower is the way it gets young people thinking about engineering. If you talk to the students out there today, I understand that 82% of them now want to follow an engineering career. But the Greenpower Education Trust requires funding and can only exist with sponsorship. It can’t continue without the investment and support it gets from companies like Siemens, IET and Silverline.”

Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens in the UK, commented: “At Siemens we employ 14,000 people here in the UK, and most of them have engineering qualifications. We need a future generation of engineers, and events like this are just fantastic at inspiring young people to get involved in engineering and design.

“It is my first time at a Greenpower event but I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be my last, because there is a real buzz here, everyone is enjoying it and the adrenaline of who is going to win is just incredible. I’m totally impressed.

“Needing engineers for the future is not something that we need just today, we are going to be needing that for the next hundred years to come. We are a company that has been around in the UK for 170 years, and we have always needed engineers, and we are going to need many more, so hopefully we can inspire some of these participants to come and work for us.”

For the full results, more information about Greenpower or the International Final, or to participate, please visit www.greenpower.co.uk.


Related Motorsport Articles

82,682 articles