Sir James Smith's School

SJS Greenpower Team

Rockingham - International Final - October 2015

The super-speedy Greenpower team from Sir Jim’s are now International Champions – after a superb weekend of kit car racing at the Rockingham Motor Speedway track in Corby.

The team, guided by the school’s Subject Leader for Art, Ben Langton, powered their way to the Greenpower International Finals after battling in style against opposition in local and regional heats.  At Rockingham, over a weekend of racing, the team members triumphed over not only home-grown British kit car rivals, but also teams from around the world, from America to Poland and South Africa to Ireland.

The team, who have worked on their car, the ‘Retro Rocket’, since January, returned to Cornwall with an array of trophies, medals and winners’ wreaths. Not only was theirs the first kit car home in the finals on Saturday, they also then won the endurance race on the Sunday, totting up the most overall mileage. Their aim was to travel as far as possible in one and a half hours, swapping drivers every half hour, and conserving enough battery energy to gain the most mileage at the best speed.

The jubilant team comprised current and past students from Sir Jim’s.

Celebrating at school on Monday were the current students – Toby Alford, William Hooper, Tom Davis, Dan Blackwell, Isla Symons, Harvey Symons, Alex Ferguson and Alex Quinn. Past students, who left in July after completing their GCSEs, who have participated in ‘Retro Rocket’s’ great success include Peter Alford, George Hooper and Louis.

Mr Langton, who brought Greenpower to the school for the first time this year, praised the positive attitude of his team, who overtook their rivals on the last lap to win one of their trophies. He also highlighted how beneficial the whole project is, encompassing subjects such as mathematics, science, engineering and technology, in the building and driving of the kit car.

He also extended thanks to the sponsors of the team – Dairy Crest, Kernow Properties, ADP Diamex and Highfield Motors - and said that the team would now be set on building a new car for next year's Greenpower races.

Headteacher at Sir Jim’s, Jon Lawrence, said of the team’s achievement: This shows just how talented our students are. Sir Jim’ is a small state comprehensive up against the might of very large schools, many of them private and some of them with superb engineering departments. This was when David beat Goliath!”


Castle Combe - September 2015

The team have recently returned from racing at Castle Combe.  A quick change to a faster sprocket after the practice race shaved 25 seconds a lap off our times. We were very consistent and worked our way up to a podium finish of third (another Trophy for the cabinet). A great result at our first outing at Castle Combe and just a fraction off the two 15 year veteran teams above us!

After our Castle Combe achievements we heard that we had qulified for the International Final on Sunday 11th October at Rockingham Motor Speedway, Corby; it is an extremely big thing to qualify for this race.  Rockingham (the newest F1 track in the country) is for the very top cars in the series and we will be up against countries like America and Africa.

We will also be competing in the Final for our class on the Saturday.  We are currently running 5th out of 110 in the class across the country; the top running cars are only 1 MPH or so above us so with a few developments to the car, a podium finish is possible and a high goal set by the team.

Here’s a quote from one of the team as we prepared for our very first race.

“do we actually have any chance against these big schools?"

Well after that race we realised how good we were and more so how good we could be.  The team set the high goal of getting to Rockingham for the Kit Car Final, which we did.  The team really pushed themselves and the car at Castle Combe with the aim of qualifying for the International and we have made it. The hard work and dedication has paid off and we are looking forward to the experience of Rockingham.

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