School car racers get Bentley boost

Joseph Bulmer

FROM start to finish, students at Bideford College are designing and making their own cars ready to compete in a national Scalextric competition.

The thrill of racing has been allied to learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics as the 12-15 year olds have started from scratch to develop their own cars for the big race.

From chassis building to centres of gravity and handling, 3D modelling and moulding of the bodywork, their prototypes are truly their own.

The 15-strong group has been given valuable advice from local Scalextric club Chivenor Chicane Raceway and have been successful in attracting invaluable sponsorship support from Jack Barclay of Mayfair, one of the UKs best known dealers in Bentley cars. The company’s founder, the late Jack Barclay, held eight motor racing world records in the 1920s.

After testing, college teams will take their two best performing cars to RAF Cosford at the end of June to take part in the Scalextric for Schools competition.

They will compete in two events - a time trial around a standard course and the Bloodhound Race based on the supersonic Bloodhound land speed record car, in which the fastest car over a straight line will win.

As part of their preparations the Bideford teams are looking for as much Scalextric track as can be assembled to create their own Bloodhound-style straight track along the entire length of one of the school corridors.

Anyone who can help is asked to contact teacher Nic Hedges at Bideford College, who is leading the youngsters in their bid.