TR Fastenings (TR) is hosting the 17th Uckfield Mini Grand Prix featuring over 250 local schoolchildren in its car park this Sunday from 11am-3.30pm.
Organised jointly by the Uckfield Rotary Club and Uckfield College, it is a major highlight of the Uckfield Festival which is running from the 6th-14th July.
The competition, which was first held at TR in 2003, will pit 250 year 5 and 6 students from various local schools against each other in 22 teams.
This is the only race in the UK to feature kit cars being driven side by side by children in a grand prix style competition. Just like in professional Formula 1 racing, the teams will consist of drivers, pit crews, mechanics and supporters.
The 24 volt electric-powered Greenpower Goblin kit cars, which have a top speed of 15 mph, must be built from scratch by the pupils themselves and use over 100 parts. The event aims to engage students in engineering and teach them a range of important skills, from mechanical knowledge to team building, marketing and design.
Also similarly to Formula 1, style is ‘almost’ as important as performance and the students have the ability to showcase their artistic talent by painting the cars any way they please. The students choose a theme around which the car is decorated and there is an additional prize for the best themed team.
Four teams compete against each other per race, with sharp Le Man styled driver change overs. Races consist of 12 laps with six drivers who swap over after 2 laps each. This pit stop change is a highlight of the race and usually decides between the winning team and the runners-up. All teams race in 2 qualifying heats and a final to determine their ultimate rankings.
All cars will be fitted with on-board sensors for recording lap-times and are connected via a live feed to the event website to showcase race results.
With over 1000 spectators expected, it is a fun family occasion that showcases the pupils’ engineering prowess and racing skills. There will also be a food area on site serving hot food, drinks and ice cream.
Geoff Budd, Director at TR Fastenings, comments: “The Uckfield Mini Grand Prix is a fantastic local event and one which we really enjoy hosting each year. The young people who take part are all potential engineers of the future and we love being able to play a part in helping them to hone their skills. Good luck to all teams!”