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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > April 2011 > Schools' Grand Prix

Schools' Grand Prix

Following the rip-roaring success of last year’s inaugural event, MotorSport Vision (MSV) and Bedford Borough Council have announced a second ‘Bedford Autodrome Schools' Grand Prix’ to be hosted by MSV, at Bedford Autodrome, on Sunday 22 May 2011.

 

Launched in late 2009 by MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer and late Mayor of Bedford Frank Branston, the event challenges pupils aged 11-16 from schools within the Bedford Borough area to design and construct a small electric car, before competing in a four hour endurance race at Bedford Autodrome.

 

The inaugural event took place in May 2010, when nine schools from the Bedford borough went head-to-head to complete the most laps over four hours. All nine teams finished the race and overall honours went to Mark Rutherford School, who used their success to race their electric car at the Siemens Greenpower Challenge National Final later in the year.

 

So far, eight schools from across the borough have signed up to the 2011 event, including reigning champions Mark Rutherford School.

 

In addition to creating the car itself, each school is also challenged to involve as many pupils and departments as possible by creating a website for their project, putting together a pit crew to assist with driver and battery changes, publicising their team and providing hospitality for their guests on race day.

 

Philip Simpkins, Chief Executive, at Bedford Borough Council, said: “The engineering talent of pupils from across the borough was on show for all to see last year. It was a thrilling event and I am very much looking forward to attending this year. The cars were superb and there was a real buzz of excitement in the air. We predicted that this event would gain in momentum and that certainly looks set to be the case for 2011.”

 

Jonathan Palmer, MotorSport Vision Chief Executive, said: "I am delighted that the concept the late Frank Branston and I hatched in 2009 has grown into a major challenge that so many Bedford schools have risen to superbly. Our inaugural event in 2010 was an enormous success with every car finishing the four hour endurance race, and the fact that the winning team from Mark Rutherford Upper School went on to compete in the National Final of the Greenpower electric car racing competition shows what a talented bunch of young engineers live in the Bedford area. I’m very much looking forward to this year’s rematch!”

 

The following schools have entered the 2011 Bedford Autodrome Schools' Grand Prix:

1. Bedford Academy
2. Bedford Girls School
3. Bedford High School
4. Biddenham International School
5. Dame Alice Harpur School
6. Mark Rutherford School (reigning champions)
7. St. Thomas More Upper School
8. Wootton Upper School

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