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Schools' Grand Prix

The Bedford Autodrome Schools’ Grand Prix –and the 2013 champions are…

Pupils from across Bedford Borough took part in this year’s ‘Bedford Autodrome Schools' Grand Prix’ which took place on Sunday 16th June, at Bedford Autodrome, in Bedford. It was Mark Rutherford Upper School who were awarded the trophy for winning the two hour forty minute endurance race; completing an impressive 102 Laps.


The event, which featured on Newsround last year, challenges pupils, aged 11-16 from schools within the Bedford Borough area, to design and construct a small electric car, before competing in a two hour endurance race.


In addition to creating the car itself, each school was 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. Awards for these categories, which are designed to cover as much of the school curriculum as possible, were presented on the day.


Cllr Henry Vann, Portfolio Holder for Education at Bedford Borough Council said: “This is such an inspiring event; I’ve been so impressed today with the students’ creativity and by how innovative the cars are.  It’s brilliant that so many schools are involved and that the wide variety of awards gets so many students involved, from budding commentators to aspiring chefs.  We’ll be working hard to get even more schools involved next year.”


Julia Wells, Head of Design and Technology at Mark Rutherford Upper School, who were the overall winners on the day, said:  “The biggest strength of this team is its fantastic teamwork; the students support each other and work really hard.  They come along every week after school and do everything that’s asked of them and we are incredibly proud of them all.  I’d really like to thank Alan Dennison, and Greg Redmond, our Design and Technology Technician, who offer invaluable support to the team.”


Jonathan Palmer, Chief Executive of MotorSport Vision, said: “It is wonderful see this unique event attract such a high quality of entries and there has been a big leap forward in the technology of the cars this year, with many very sophisticated machines.  The success of the Bedford Autodrome Schools’ Grand Prix is a great tribute to the excellent schools in Bedfordshire that enter and the enthusiasm of Bedford Borough Council for promoting practical, exciting education. The pupils and teachers all put in a huge amount of work into the challenge and the reward of excitement and fun is delightful and plain to see – and on the faces of parents and families too!  It was a pleasure to present the awards together with Bedford Borough Council’s Chief Executive, Philip Simpkins, and Bedford Borough Mayor, Dave Hodgson, whose attendance and support was appreciated by all.”


For details on previous year’s races go to:


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