TR Fastenings (TR) is hosting the 16th Uckfield Mini Grand Prix featuring over 150 local schoolchildren in its car park on Sunday 15th July 2018 from 11am-3.30pm.
Organised jointly by the Uckfield Rotary Club and Uckfield Community Technical College, it is a major highlight of the Uckfield Festival which is running from the 6th-15th July.
The race, which was first held at TR in 2003, will race 200 students from years 5-6 against each other in 24 teams. This is the only race in the UK to feature kit cars being driven side by side by children in a grand prix style competition. Just like in professional Formula 1 racing, the Kit Car teams will consist of drivers, pit crews, mechanics and supporters.
The 24 volt electric-powered Greenpower Goblin kit cars, which have a top speed of 15 mph, must be built from scratch by the pupils themselves and use over 100 parts. The event aims to teach the children a range of important skills, from mechanical engineering knowledge to team building, marketing and design.
Also similarly to Formula 1, style is ‘almost’ as important as performance and the students have the ability to showcase their artistic talent by painting the cars any way they please. The students choose a theme around which the car is decorated and there is an additional prize for the best themed team.
Four teams compete against each other per race, with sharp Le Man styled driver change overs. Races consist of 12 laps with six drivers who swap over after 2 laps each. This pit stop change is a highlight of the race and usually decides between the winning team and the runners-up. All teams race in 2 qualifying heats and a final to determine their ultimate rankings.
A new technological addition for 2018 is that all cars are now fitted with on-board sensors for recording lap-times and are connected via a live feed to the event website to showcase race results.
With over 1000 spectators expected, it is a fun family occasion that showcases the pupils’ engineering prowess and racing skills. There will also be a food area on site serving hot food, drinks and ice cream.
Geoff Budd, Director at TR Fastenings, comments: “The Uckfield Mini Grand Prix is a fabulous tradition and one which we are so thrilled to support each year. The young engineers and racers who take part are the future of the technology industry and we at TR Fastenings are proud to be helping to showcase and nurture their skills. Good luck to all teams!”
Co-comparing on the day will be Uckfield FM’s very own Steve Crow!