Northgate High School pupils get set for Greenpower International Kit Car finals at Rockingham race circuit

The Northgate High School team competing at a regional heat in Ford Dunton

The Northgate High School team competing at a regional heat in Ford Dunton - Credit: Archant

Northgate High School pupils are preparing for a grand prix experience as they compete in the finals of the Greenpower International Kit Car competition.

Youngsters have been working after school to build a fully-powered kit car, and raced it at prestigious circuits, including Ford Dunton in Essex and Rockingham circuit in Northamptonshire.

Now, having tasted success in previous heats, the team is gearing up for the international finals at the Rockingham circuit, where teams are expected to race in two 90 minute races. The project has been a labour of love for the group who have been working on the car for the last few years.

Design and technology teacher Jim Jenner who has overseen the project, said: “It’s been really good – the fact we finished the kit and were able to race the car was brilliant, so to get to the finals is great.”

The final takes place on October 10, with the team now adding the finishing touches to the car.

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All of the pupils have had a chance to race the car, with a minimum of three drivers swapping the car between each other during the race.

Team-member Penny Garwood, 14, said: “This kind of opportunity is amazing – our parents have all said they didn’t have this opportunity when they were at school.”

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Team-mate Courtney King, 14, added: “It’s really nice everyone is involved and we can work as part of a team.” During the races, teachers are not allowed in the pit-lane, leaving the pupils to supervise their own driver changes and team operation.

But while building and racing the cars has been an exciting process for the children, for staff at the school it also demonstrates it isn’t just university courses that can lead to a career in mechanical engineering.

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