Borders College

Greenpower racing students feel the ‘Aintree Heat’

Aintree is fast becoming an annual destination for the Borders College Engineering student teams, who travelled south last month with their two Greenpower racing cars to participate in the ‘Aintree Heat 2017’ event.

Greenpower 2017

Lecturers Dave Black and Dale Clancy and Programme Leader John Rafferty accompanied NC Introduction to Engineering Skills and NC Fabrication and Welding students to the event with Introduction to Engineering Skills students Sean Owens and Ben Thomson were appointed as Team Leaders. After arrival, the race cars were subject to scrutineering (ascertaining that they were safe and ready to race) followed by team briefings and an opportunity for practice before participating in the round 8 ‘IET Formula 24+ Ages 16-25 category’ race.


Pictured left to right: Standing: Sean Owens, Leiam Whittaker, David Bremner, Connor Hendry, Callum Doran, Ben Thomson, Arran Kennedy. Seated: Ryan Girdwood and Samuel Wightman. (Not pictured are Callum Cairns and Jordan Fender).

Dave said: “The teams worked well, prepping the cars in advance, and were very switched on despite being new to their courses. They overcame breakdowns in practice to complete the one hour race, even improving both cars’ average speeds by 3mph (to 17mph) compared to last year’s event. The students have come away with renewed enthusiasm, and they were true ambassadors for Borders College due to their work ethic and commitment.”

Overall, despite the breakdowns and challenges faced as a new team, they achieved finishing positions of 17th and 18th on the full leader board (out of approximately 40 competing teams), and placed a respectable 4th and 5th place in the kit car category itself.


Although the group are not heading to the international final in October, their experience at Aintree was very worthwhile, allowing the students to gather valuable data as well as ideas on how to improve their race cars. They also had the opportunity to engage with professionals – the Jaguar team spent time talking to the students about design, even providing pointers on how to further develop the cars, which may prove to be useful when the students begin plans for building a corporate electric car which will be lightweight without being a kit car, and therefore eligible to compete in the F24+ category alongside key teams including Jaguar and Siemens.

Well done to all involved in what has been another educational and team-building trip to Aintree, and we look forward to finding out what preparations will be made for next year’s event.


Published: Thu 5th Oct, 2017