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High School girls plan to lead the field of Greenpower racing

Last year Truro High School's Greenpower racing debut was disappointing. This year with local sponsorship, expert advice and renewed enthusiasm they aim to lead the field.

The all girls team is already making performance enhancing changes to the specially designed car, the Green Goddess. They have financial and expert support from local businesses and even help promised from two Formula 1 engineers.

The competition is a national event organised by the Greenpower Education Trust to encourage aspiring young engineers. Each participating team must use the same motor and six 12 volt batteries, which must be used in pairs. Success comes with the car’s design.

Each team must also compete in at least one regional heat and finish in the top three to automatically qualify for the national final held at Goodwood Motor Circuit in October. The remaining 75 places on the grand final grid are filled with cars that have completed the most miles in any one race plus three wild card entrants.

The event is a fiercely fought battle locally with two Truro secondary schools historically achieving consistently good results. The High School girls want to challenge that success.

High School Head of Science, Jon Dean, explained: “We’re determined to build on our experiences from last year and make big improvements. I’ll be steering and advising the girls but all the major design research and decisions will be their own. We have the advantage of some help and support from enthusiasts with expert knowledge and experience, but we would welcome more help, particularly financial.”

Four of those helping the High School team work at Tremorvah Industries in Truro. When wheelchair and electric vehicle supervisor, Gary Phillips, heard about the girls’ project he and three colleagues asked if they could share their engineering knowledge during their free time.

Gary said: “We just want to help the girls drive a little bit of fear into the competition, plus it’s great fun!”

More support comes from Johnny Hawkins, of Cornwall’s highly successful Hawkins Motor Group, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year.

Johnny said: “I’m a real champion of electrically powered cars. I believe it’s the future of motoring so I jumped at the opportunity to support Truro High School’s Greenpower team both financially and with our expertise and facilities. It’s not just great fun but essential for spreading the word about the benefits of electric power.”

The Green Goddess will carry the official logo of the Peugeot iOn, an eco-friendly electically powered family car.

The High School team of ten has been avidly researching aerodynamic design and the technicalities of gear ratios and battery efficiency. The girls meet twice a week, after school, in the Green Goddesses garage at school spending hours making adjustments and improvements.

Sian Westgarth is one of only two remaining members of the High School’s racing team of 2012. She said: “I used to think racing was a boys sport but I tried it and it was great fun. I love speed and I’m really enjoying getting to grips with the engineering as well.”

High School Headmistress, Caroline Pascoe, said: “We have high hopes of our Greenpower girls this year, especially as they now have some outstanding support. It’s a great project on so many levels – educationally, socially and environmentally. One of our ‘Old Girls’ studied Motorsport Engineering at Oxford Brookes University, maybe one of the team will be inspired to follow in her footsteps.”

Published by: Darren Stevens

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