Uckfield Mini Grand Prix 2017
Celebrating 15 years of electric car racing in the car park of TR Fastenings, the Uckfield Grand Prix was bigger and better than ever this year. 24 racing car teams of year 6 students came together to fiercely compete for the glory of a win for their school. Months of preparation were evident in the Paddock as the cars and excited teams were getting prepared for the first racing heats.
More than 1200 spectators set up their picnic blankets and camping chairs in the sunshine on the grassy banks surrounding the racing track, built with tyres on loan from Uckfield tyre fitting companies and straw bales supplied by Charlie Diplock, a local farmer.
With only the morning to transform the TR fastenings carpark into a race track, it took a fleet of trucks and drivers provided by John Rose, of Rose Gas and hours of labour from a team of volunteers & members of Uckfield Rotary Club and UCTC. New this year was a genius electronic lap timing system designed and built by volunteers Charlie Stringer and Chris Watts.
There were 12 heats and six finals- the overall winners were Holy Cross Primary school, followed home by Newick, Nutley and Rocks Park. other prizes were awarded for design and presentation and sportsmanship. Cuckmere House School in Seaford was awarded a framed 'Bloodhound SSC' poster signed by the world land speed record holder Andy Green for the quality of their build portfolio.
Rory O'Connor an Uckfield Rotarian and Design Technology Teacher from UCTC organises this event along with the Rotary Club of Uckfield and the many enthusiastic volunteers who return to help year after year, aim to promote and encourage the teaching of engineering skills in primary schools. (A special mention to Paul Gibson, who has moved away to Whitby, but still drove down with his family to offer his Engineering skills!)
For several months, year 6 students, teachers and volunteers have been building the 24 volt electric vehicles, designing the bodywork, learning to drive them and practicing speedy pit stops and driver change overs. This work came together as they thrashed around the racing track aiming for the glory of a Grand Prix win at speeds of up to 15 miles an hour. [See our Mini GrandPrix 2017 Gallery]