Velocity Racing

by Helen-Jane Shearer

Article in Konect Livingston, April 2018

When I was contacted by a team of students from Inveralmond Community High School who are partway through a competition to “design from scratch a model F1 car,” my interest was picqued partly because they are an all-girls team, something still not common in engineering.

Having had success at Scottish level, they are looking for sponsorship from local businesses to help them get to the next level – ultimately international - so I went to meet them at Inveralmond Community High School to find out more about the project.

Run by motorsports companies, the FI in Schools competition challenges students to design and build a model car to get the fastest possible speed on a 20 metre track. I met Chloe, the team manager, and Nicole, who looks after the marketing, after school one day. The other four team members were focussed on their computer screens in the lab at Inveralmond, modelling and finessing designs for the various components of the vehicle.

Velocity Racing came a close second in the Scottish finals last month and are off to the UK finals at Silverstone this month. Each team is given a foam block of approx 22x6.5x5cm from which to shape the car body according to their own design; they design and manufacture the wheels and wings, and carry out endless testing of minute changes to shape and angle of components. It’s about optimising speed and stability. The car is launched down a track by what is effectively a soda stream bottle, and at their Scottish finals Velocity Racing’s car achieved 1.263 seconds on the 20m track. That’s approximately 72 km per hour! It’s very challenging to keep a lightweight foam vehicle stable at that speed.

Velocity Racing are looking for local businesses to sponsor them to the help them get to Singapore for the world finals in September!

They are grateful for the support they have already received in terms of supplies, components, advice and monetary support. They have a range of business sponsorship packages available, please email team manager Chloe on velocityracing78@gmail.com or via Velocity Racing on facebook.

And to succeed in the competition, they have show ability not just in physics, aerodynamics, design and manufacture, but also the business side - branding, sponsorship, marketing, and financial strategy. Nicole says, “A Scottish all-girls team hasn't competed in the professional class since 2014, we are changing that. Silverstone here we come!”

Besides the engineering itself, the sheer amount of time they need to put in is challenging, and this is their National 5 year too! Most days after school, weekends and holidays they are toiling away in the lab at school.

A huge number of hours, for a race that is ultimately around one second! (or less than one second if they really do well!) Go Velocity Racing, best of luck for the UK finals!

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