As part of Greenpower Education Trust’s Goodwood Gathering of Goblins on Sunday (June 27), 40 electric cars – all designed and built by children aged nine to 11 – took to the track.
Goblins is the name given to the electric vehicles that primary school students design, build and race as part of the Greenpower challenge, a programme that encourages more students to engage with STEM in a fun, practical way.
Upon arrival on the day, the competing teams first had to put their cars through scrutineering to ensure they were safe to drive.
Once this was complete, the pupils pushed their cars from the designated pit boxes over the main straight of the circuit.
Throughout the surprisingly sunny morning, the teams took part in a number of different timed challenges.
One of the challenges was the slalom, which tests not only the speed of the car, but the also the drive’s turning ability and precision.
After weaving their way through a series of coned gates, the drivers then completed a hairpin turn before going flat out down the drag portion of the course. This section shows the outright pace of the car.
The slalom and drag are timed separately, but the drivers are also given a combined time for the whole loop.
Every member of each team had a chance to take on both sections over the course of the day.
The other morning challenge was the chicane sprint, which tasked the drivers to complete a small loop which included the real Goodwood chicane.
After a brief lunch break, the teams returned for a few more runs of the slalom, drag and chicane sprint before the main event of the day: the Lap of Champions.
The Lap of Champions sees one driver from each team do a single lap of the entire Goodwood Motor Circuit, an incredible experience for any young person.
The 40 cars set off around the track from the starting grid and returned to the main straight to take the chequered flag roughly ten minutes later.
The day ended with a prize giving session, with trophies awarded to the top three performers in the slalom, drag, combined and chicane sprint.
There were also prizes for the overall winner of the event, the best presented team, and the team that best demonstrated the spirit of Greenpower.