Battery powered cars steered to the finishing line in annual challenge for Chipping Sodbury students

August 02 2016

PUPILS at Chipping Sodbury School have had a long involvement with the annual Greenpower challenge - endurance races for home-built battery operated cars.

Chipping Sodbury School

PUPILS at Chipping Sodbury School have had a long involvement with the annual Greenpower challenge - endurance races for home-built battery operated cars.
They have experienced victory and defeat at the Rockingham race track in Northamptonshire, where cars must be driven economically for 90 minutes to ensure batteries last until the chequered flag.
Students take it in turns to drive, with other team members acting as pit crew.
The cars Rotary Racer and Chain Reaction - single-seaters built by pupils with help from parents and teachers outside lessons - were driven by separate Chipping Sodbury teams at the latest race day.
Here, year 12 student Louise Barnaby reports on the Rotary Racer team’s day on the track.
“AFTER a 4.30am start, the team arrived for an eventful and wet race day.
“The first Formula 24 race began with small gaps between the first few cars, so the tension was high. It was evident from the start that our batteries were not good, so we put the power down hoping they would last. Pit stops went pretty well although much slower than the other teams, so we were depending on our car having better stamina than the others.   
“In the end we finished second but with no time to celebrate, rushed our car into the pits for a gear change for the 24+ race.  
“This is much faster with only one driver and we managed 4th place, just three seconds behind the car in third position.
“After another fast gear change, the rain began just in time for the next Formula 24 race.
“Our batteries were even worse this time and we were silently praying for them to last. Despite putting our lightest driver in for the longest stint, they were failing rapidly. But we just managed to hold on until the end of the race and gained fifth place.   
“Our school’s second entry, Chain Reaction, was hit by another car but with the help of engineering skills and gaffer tape, not too much damage was caused and the team continued racing.
“Well done to everyone who took part. It was a fabulous day.”