College thinks big for televised Mini Challenge

A new Mini racing team is being launched at the Isle campus of the College of West Anglia.
A new Mini racing team is being launched at the Isle campus of the College of West Anglia.

Students are aiming to launch another motor-racing team for the Isle campus of the College of West Anglia.

They are building a vehicle to take part in the televised, national series; MINI Challenge for the very first time, which will take them to tracks all over the country including Silverstone, Brand’s Hatch, Donington and Oulton Park.

But first the team of eight needs to raise between £7-8,000 to meet the running and preparations costs. Costs include the engine, £1,850; bodywork/chassis £3,650 and electronics £775.

And they are confident that they can prepare their 1600cc Mini to a standard which could earn them a chance of victory in the national competition next year.

But if the fundraising is unsuccessful then the car will only be used for testing sessions at the tracks.

The college has run a Formula Ford racing car for three years, but this is the first time they have used a Mini, bought at auction, painted by fellow students in the college’s paint and body shop and completely rebuilt.

The motorsports section, based in the college’s new £7.2m Technology Centre, has attracted students from far and wide, including even from Great Yarmouth.

A professional-looking prospectus has been produced which students want to deliver to potential investors, as well as inviting them individually to see the car being worked on.

Investors can have their company logo on the vehicle, get free tickets to all race meetings including paddock passes and even the chance to have a day’s testing in the college’s student run go karts.

The students are determined to make a car which can challenge the very best.

Aaron Charles said: “Because we are a college, doesn’t mean we cannot compete against the best of the MINI Challenge grid.”

Michael Hewlett said: “With the experience of the potential driver and the car we are building there is no reason we cannot succeed and win the MINI Challenge, putting the College of West Anglia and students on the map.”

Jordan Richmond said: “We’re ‘in it to win it’ and to gain the experience of the motorsport industry.”

Tom Stockdale said: “It’s the first time the College of West Anglia has been involved in the MINI Challenge, we have experienced staff supporting the team. We believe we have as good as chance as anyone.”

And Remi Langridge added: “We have seen the project through from the start, we are determined to prove we are as good as anyone else.”

The Isle team of eight, including three females, is professional in its approach with a technical director, business manager, three technicians, business assistant and two support engineers. Supporting them is teaching support officer for motorsport, Jack Howling. The racing will be televised on Motors TV.

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