Status Racing Move Up the Ranks in the Final
Status Racing, Collingwood's Greenpower team, move into 40th position (out of 500 teams) following International Final at Rockingham.
Sunday 13 October saw the Greenpower International Final, a gathering of over 100 of the best teams, not only in the UK but the world. It is the second International Final, and the second time Status Racing has qualified to race at the event!
This year was the first time the final has been held at Rockingham, which annoyingly for us meant a very early start on Sunday morning! We all met at the track for 7.00am, where the van was unloaded and the preparations for the race began.
As usual, before any team can race they must pass a scrutineering test, to ensure all cars are compliant with regulations and safe to race. Thankfully, both our cars passed allowing us to go straight out to practise.
After practise had finished we had just a few minutes to get the batteries changed and the driver ready for Race 1. The cars then lined up in number order in the pits ready for the annual parade; which provided a unique opportunity to walk down the famous straight of Rockingham with the cars and our team, all looking very smart in our eye-catching bright orange uniforms!
Straight after the parade, the grid was formed for the start of Race 1. With this being the final the teams had a rolling start, behind an impressive safety car… the electric BMW i8! One rolling lap and the race began and we soon started to climb the places as we paced around the track.
During the 90 minute endurance race, we must have a minimum of three drivers meaning two driver changes in the race; something we practise a lot in the build up to the races. Although nothing like an F1 pit stop, the team performed impressive and efficient driver changes, giving us an advantage over less organised teams!
The performance of teams relies on three factors: the quality of their cars, drivers and batteries. We knew that we had great cars and talented drivers, but there was one thing we lacked… good batteries. All teams in the competition have to race using the same brand 12v lead acid batteries; however these batteries do lose capacity over time through discharges, and our batteries are over three years old, meaning a slightly lower capacity when fully charged than new equivalents (something we cannot afford at £65 each). The overall result being a very, very slow final 10 minutes of the race – which sadly cost us 11 places (from 29th to 40th position).
Despite this, we feel that the day, and the season as a whole, has been incredibly successful for the team with a 10 place improvement on last season in our MK2 car. The team is really looking forward to next season which will see the debut of our brand new carbon fibre-bodied car, racing in both F24 and F24+ competitions.
I would like to thank the parents and staff members that travelled all the way up to Rockingham last weekend to transport team members and to support the team. Secondly, I would like to thank all of our sponsors for making the construction of the cars possible and to Spencer Kelly of Kelly Van Hire, who kindly gives us discounted van hire to get the cars to the events. Finally, a huge thanks to Mr Winter of the Technology Department, who is the only member of staff who gives up an unbelievable amount of his time, both after College and at weekends to make it possible for us to build and race the cars.
Team Recruitment: the team will be recruiting four new team members from Years 7,8 and 9. The recruitment process will begin after half-term, and we have assemblies booked for these year groups. So if you are interested… keep an eye out!
Dan Martin - Status Racing Team Leader and Year 12 student