Rutherford Racers celebrate as they qualify for Goodwood circuit national finals

Rutherford Races from Mark Rutherford School, Bedford.
Rutherford Races from Mark Rutherford School, Bedford.
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Students from Mark Rutherford School in Bedford are celebrating their racing achievements.

Two first place victories in the eastern region heats of the National Greenpower electric car racing series have qualified Rutherford Racers for the national final races to be held at the historic Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit this month.

Rutherford Race car from Mark Rutherford School, Bedford.

Rutherford Race car from Mark Rutherford School, Bedford.

The team of students from years 7 to 11 at Mark Rutherford raced their two cars against strong opposition from across the country in the two 90 minutes races held at Bedford Autodrome.

The late Frank Branson a former mayor of Bedford, inspired the school to enter the competition when he co-sponsored the Bedford Gran Prix with Jonathan Palmer Racing 5 years ago.

Their Mark 3 car, The Inferno, beat nearest opposition by 1.5 miles in race one and 0.5 miles in race two with the Mark 2, The Griffin coming very close in both races. The cars, designed and built by the students in their own time, use two 12v car batteries to power a 24 volt dc motor.

The team is managed by Julia Wells, with technical and race management supervised by Greg Redmond and Dave Kearley, all members of the design and technology department. It would not be possible without the support of Alan Dennison, a former member of staff who volunteers his time and expertise for the project.

Plans for the future include a mark4 car now in the process of construction in the school workshops. This should be ready for the next season of races starting in June this year.

Student drivers and pit crews have had the excitement of racing on many famous circuits including, Silverstone, Rockingham, Mallory Park, Dunsfold Park (top Gear Track) and for the past four years in the national final held at Goodwood Historic Race Circuit.

Prize monies from races have enabled the students to keep racing along with sponsorship and help from local businesses including Jamie Catlett Fabrication, Beds GRP, 3M, Cross & Morse and Tesco.