The Weald race to victory to reclaim international greenpower title

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The Weald School raced to a double success on Sunday as they placed first and third in the finals of the Greenpower Education Trust international final at Goodwood.

The inaugural event which involved more than 500 cars and schools from across the world reached a climax on Sunday as competitors raced their purpose-built vehicles around the legendary race track.

Schools qualify for a place in the finals through races held at race tracks all across the country over the last year.

Thousands of supporters and spectators turned out at the weekend as the series culminated in a grand final at Goodwood between the top 77 cars.

The Weald, competing in the IET Formula 24 – for 11 to 16 year olds, was one of few schools that entered two cars and went on to win their second title, having also claimed victory back in 2006.

The final takes place as two races and each car is only allowed one set of batteries, but must use at least three drivers.

In first race, The Weald finished in first and third position, while in the second race they finished second and third.

The total combined times clinched the top spot for their top car, The Black Bullet, with their second car, The Purple Predator, came in third place.

Head teacher Peter Woodman commented: “This is a magnificent result for our students and all those involved.

“The team have worked hard over a period of months to make very small improvements that has given us marginal gains. It is these improvements that resulted in the win. It has been very much a team effort.”

The Black Bullet team principal Keith Russell said: “We lose as a team and we win as a team. 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.”

Driver Lucy Kirkby, 14, 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.”

The team have been supported over a long period of time by an enthusiastic and hardworking group of staff and parents. One father, Simon Banks added: “It has required a huge commitment, but it has been fantastic to see all the hard work pay-off.”

The event has grown in recent years and received entries from across the world. Famous faces in attendance included TV’s gadget guru Jason Bradbury, Lord March and David Richards CBE.