Richard Lander School from Truro have become the first Cornish team to win the F24 Greenpower Car World Championship. This has been a ten year journey for both staff and students which has both challenged and inspired a new generation of scientists and engineers.
This journey started in 2007 with ‘V24’ which finished 74th (one from the bottom!) This then began the development pathway with the ‘RLR’ series of cars. ‘RLR 1’ climbed through the ranks gaining 17th place in 2011. The following year it came 6th overall – it’s best ever achievement. ‘RLR2’ came second overall in its debut year (2015) and ‘RLR3’ raced for the first time in 2016 and came 3rd overall. 2017 has been the team’s finest season, finally achieving the top spot with ‘RLR 3’!
The International Finals were held over the weekend of the 7th and 8th October at the prestigious Rockingham Motor Speedway circuit near Corby. 74 cars qualified from as far afield as Brazil and America. The teams competed over two 90 minute races with identical batteries and motors to see who would be the fastest, most efficient crew. It was a tortoise and hare race with last year’s champions Sandbach High School for Girls taking a commanding lead for the first 75 minutes. ‘RLR3’, from Richard Lander School, kept their cool executing quick pit-stops and excellent driving to hold their nerve in second place. In the last 10 minutes of the race the leaders early pace cost them the lead as their batteries failed and so did their nerve. ‘RLR3’ then cruised to victory by a margin of 2 minutes over the rest of the field.
The Richard Lander Greenpower team, an extra-curricular activity, meets once a week to build and develop new cars. Through this, students understand the skills and processes involved in modern engineering. Run by Mr Ben Lloyd-King who started his career at Ford Motor Company as an engineer before moving into teaching in 2004, he now teaches physics at Richard Lander School. He says, ‘The team have worked countless hours to build and prepare the race cars. Ages span from 11-18 forming long-lasting friendships across the year groups; we even have college students returning to help run the evening sessions. I’m immensely proud of their achievements and realise that projects like this are only successful with the full backing of the school. I would also like to thank our sponsors: Teagle Farm Machinery, D P Engineering, Dash Drive Hire and a number of others, without whom we would not have achieved first in the world!
For more information see www.greenpower.co.uk