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Fife Lightnin' are Pit Crew Heroes!

For the internationals: new partners: Turner Van Hire & Renishaw

· international,engineering,racing,STEM,womeninengineering

Car design impresses & team spirit thrives

"People will just talk about the flash and bang of F24, but what happens behind the scenes are actually the most interesting part". Discover what goes on:

  • Lev's racing insights
  • Reinshaw demonstrates what makes a winner  
  • Sean's racing insights  
  • Fife Lightnin's winning experience!

Thank you to our sponsors whose grants fund our charity operations: Benarty Community Shop, Foundation Scotland & Ventient Energy, Co-op, and Aviva. Big appreciation to our supply partner sponsors: McGill Motorsport (race kit), Brag Enterprises (venue), John Young Signs (signage), and Turner Van Hire - Perth (van) - read about how they helped us prepare for our race.

Lev's racing insights

Being on the track is amazing; turning tight corners, zooming along straights, and definitely overtaking unsuspecting cars. But some people will just talk about the flash and bang of F24, but what happens behind the scenes are actually the most interesting part. Along with actually making the car, during races we have to repair the car. Maybe the motor overheats, or the tire gets a flat - we have to fix it. During the practice race at Rockingham me and my teammates had to fix our motor - we realised how intense it is when you’re under a short time limit! We had to tighten our chain which resulted in us being late for the first race, but as soon as we were done I was out on the racetrack and the pouring rain. The rain caused our seat to fill up with water (much to my discomfort) so once the race finished we had to drill a hole at the bottom of the
seat, so it wouldn’t fill up again. Even though it poured with rain the whole race we managed to push through - and finish! We had a great experience going down there and meeting all the other teams and seeing so many cars!

Reinshaw wins us over and wins F24+ race!

When we discovered we had qualified for the international finals, we also found out our STEM mentor couldn't make it to the race (but kept in touch following the race remotely and keep in touch over the phone), so if we had a problem we couldn't fix who could help? During the practice lap we discovered we needed to fix a problem - our chain had loosened and hit our motor (the sound helped diagnose this problem). To ensure this problem didn't happen again, we had to change the location of the motor and chain, but we didn't have the tools for it! Thankfully we discovered Renishaw had all the tools and more importantly a community spirit to help us get back on track!

So we were delighted that RenishawGP team won the F24+ Greenpower International Final with 1st, 3rd & 4th place! It shows if you help, you learn more and improve your skills! Definitely a great team spirit to join if you're looking for an apprenticeship scheme.

Reinshaw wins Fife Lightnin' over and wins F24+ race!

Fife Lightnin' - Sean's insights

After a very long drive to Rockingham we finally arrive and unpack the van and find and set up our bay area before calling it a day and going to sleep. The next day comes and its race day! We go over to check on our car in the paddock and get it ready for practice. The weather is horrible and we get out to practice. My three practice laps done and it was my team mate's turn, but just as she was about to set off, something goes wrong with the car, we rush it back to the pits and realise the chain had become too loose. We try to fix it, but we can't as we don't have the right tools. But we find a F24+ team called 'Renishaw' who had all the kit to help. But there was some bad news, this fix would take some time, so we couldn't get back out for some of the first part of race. Sometime later we get the okay to go. We set off for the race and go out for the last part of race 1. We finish the last part and bring the car at the pits for a look over for the next and final race. We give the car the okay to go and we go out on the track. The race goes smoothly when we are on track, and in between we fix minor problems ourselves. We nearly finish, but the batteries gave up, so we brought it in and packed it up for the end of the day. And after that we made our way over to the prize giving, but we didn't win anything so we celebrate the winners - some from as far as China and we make way on our (not so long) 8 hour drive home back to Fife.

Winning without winning

Despite all the challenges and set backs, and no podium finish, Fife Lightnin' won in so many ways. Why we were 'winning without winning'?

  • The chat surrounding our car was incredible, kids and marshalls alike were wowed over - the design was definitely the winning public choice and we overheard and were told many positives: 'wow', 'so cool', 'awesome'. So our winning 'IET Engineering Award' bodywork design stays!
  • We were the smallest but mightiest team! We had more pit time than track time, but our team spirit and keep a positive attitude and never giving up to find a solution to get back on track
  • When our car was on track, we were flying past many other cars!
  • We discovered we can ask for help and can collaborate with other F24+ teams
  • The car had such a challenging test and many brilliant improvements in a short window of time
  • The car was tested in the heat at East Fortune and had a motor overheat, and the 6 degrees with constant rain at Rockingham tested the team grit and perseverance in harsh conditions as well as testing many aspects of mechanics of the car
  • It was cool to research other cars and support teams from all over the world
  • The internationals summed up were an intense research and testing phase for our newly built car and our unstoppable team spirit!
  • We've come back with a list of top re-engineering ideas, so watch this space for what we do next!

More photos & race reports

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