Rarely do Goodwood spectators so keenly anticipate race results. Parents, teachers and other elders can do no more than will on their junior racers from the sidelines of today’s Greenpower heats as they unfold on the full-length circuit.
A quick introduction to Greenpower, in case you’re not familiar with its work. It aims to build a future for British engineering by changing the perception of the industry. It wants to present it as a relevant and dynamic career choice, which is why children as young as nine build its Formula Goblin electric racing cars and compete with them around the UK. Today’s central south regional heat is for Formula 24 and Formula 24+ cars, the former for teams of youngsters aged 11 to 16, and the latter 16 to 25.
Each team must use the same motor and 12v battery for the duration of the race but, beyond that, the car design is open to innovation (although regulations apply… this is motorsport, after all!). At least three members from each team must drive the car over the long race, and six team members can work as pit crew.
Blistering sunshine and blue skies are the conditions for today’s races, the first of which has just run its hour-and-a-half course to be won by Chipping Sodbury School with its Rotary Racer. The team achieved 19 laps of Goodwood. You can keep up to date with the race results from the other rounds today live at Greenpower’s website.
The three top finishers from each regional heat such as this are guaranteed a place in the final, as are five ‘wildcard’ entries. It’s no wonder, then, that activity in the pitlane is so frenzied each time a car comes in a for a regular stop. As with all endurance racing, organisation is as important as on-track prowess.
Usually around 75 teams enter the final which, once again in 2014, will take place at Goodwood. The date for your diary is Sunday 12 October. Are these the next generation of racing drivers, pit crews and team managers? Who would bet against seeing some of them at the Festival of Speed in years to come…