Over 60 electric kit cars are set to be raced around Hull’s KCOM Stadium this summer as part of an exciting education project. The race has been moved by organisers from the city centre to the stadium, due to unprecedented interest in attending the event from members of the public.
The Project Blyth race, which sees teams of young people compete in cars they’ve built, will now take place on Sunday 16th July 2017 at the venue in Hull’s West Park. Sixty-two cars will now be raced around a circuit that covers the perimeter of the stadium and the adjoining car parks, where a Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) Fair will also take place.
The event will see 33 teams, plus family, friends and supporters, from across the Humber region. The move to the KCOM Stadium by Project Blyth organisers is to ensure everyone who wants to attend can, and to keep both drivers and spectators safe.
The cars have been supplied to primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and community groups by Greenpower Education Trust, a charity that inspires young people to think about engineering as a career. The hands-on project captures the excitement of motorsport to inspire young people, from primary school through to university, to excel in STEM subjects, helping to address the serious shortage of engineers faced by UK industry.
The Humber project is supported by major employers within the region including Siemens and the University of Hull, with 60 local firms already committed to supporting teams.
Vaughan Curnow, Project Coordinator at Greenpower Education Trust, commented:
“The uptake has exceeded our expectations. We have more than 600 people taking part, all of which want to bring along family and friends to cheer them on, plus all of the mentor companies who want to see the results of the support they’ve given. Although our original city centre circuit would have been a great location, some people would have missed out on being able to see their loved ones taking part, which is really important.
“We are delighted with the new venue and it will give us the space we need to race cars and hold a STEM Fair, where people can find out more about careers and training in these sectors. Being at the home of two of the city’s sports teams will also inspire young people to achieve their dreams and we cannot wait for this summer’s race event.”
Leader of Hull City Council, Councillor Stephen Brady said:
“Helping our future workforce gain the skills they need to have a long and successful career in their chosen industry is a high priority for us. Project Blyth does just that, by giving young people thinking about a career in engineering the practical experience they need. It’s a fantastic initiative and it’s good to hear organisers are expecting a great turnout on the day.
“We would like to thank the schools, young people, parents and the local businesses for supporting this exciting initiative.”
Project Blyth has been awarded funding from Green Port Hull, which is supported by the Regional Growth Fund, to support 10 Formula 20+ cars, enhance business engagement with schools and colleges and facilitate the race event.
Tim Rix, Chair of the Green Port Growth Programme, added:
“We are pleased to be supporting Project Blyth and delighted to hear that the event is proving so popular. With the ongoing investment in renewable energy, manufacturing and engineering in our region, we need to make sure young people are equipped with the STEM skills to move into these new industries that will play a large role in the future of our economy.”
The race is split up into Formula Goblin for primary school children, F24 for 11-16 year olds and F24 plus for 17-25-year-olds. The three best teams will then go into the national finals held at Rockingham in Northants.
The cars driven by primary school children reach 15mph, while those for 11 years or older reach 25-30mph. Older participants can scratch-build cars, which means they can design the chassis more aerodynamically which could increase the car’s speed to 55mph.