May The Force Be With Us, And Our Cars, At This Year’s Jaguar F1 Primary Challenge

May the Force be with us was Crackley Hall’s F1 Team Storm’s quiet but confident hope as they arrived at Princethorpe College on what is affectionately known as Star Wars day, May 4th. After all the preparations, the plans, the discussions, the designs and the build it was finally time to plug in the compressed air canisters and get down to some serious racing at this year’s Jaguar Primary School Regional Final.

“In my experience there is no such thing as luck” said Obi-Wan Kenobi and our J4 team of mini Stormtroopers know that very well. Francesca Kelly, Team Leader, Joe McCullough, Graphics Designer, Dylan Williams, Design Engineer and Toby Lucas, Manufacturing Engineer have been fiendishly busy working hard since before Christmas to prepare for the big day.

They have been generously helped along the way by our major sponsors Laser Tools from Southam, who last year bought Crackley Hall’s Race System and have again this year given us warehouse space to practise and test the cars. Final race preparations had also been aided by Chapter Agency who had helped refine the material and displays for the Portfolio and Pit Display category.

The challenge requires teams to research, design, manufacture, test, promote and race the fastest car possible using standard chassis and engine housing nets with a car body made only from card. It is a technical brief but one that has proven to really engage potential future engineers.

As soon as they parked up at Princethorpe College the team leapt into action setting up their pit display. Crackley’s team boards and table displays looked smart and professional. Bright colours and eye catching graphics told the visual story of their journey so far.

After a welcome from Mr Hester, Headmaster at Princethorpe College, they were on to their first task, a 5 minute verbal presentation. The judges were looking at technique, composition and knowledge of subject matter.

Then came the Additional Challenge Design Technology task - the judges requested the team to make a desk tidy. The focus of the exercise was once again to test the team’s ability to work together, delegate, design and manufacture.

We caught up with the team mid-morning - Joe McCullough said, “It’s an amazing experience” and Team Leader Francesca said, “We have learnt lots and been able to work together as a team.”

After a swift break for lunch it was on to the Engineering judging, this time the team were tested on their car design and manufacturing process.

And then finally it was time to get down to the serious business of racing. This was, after all, what the whole challenge has been about. Team Storm carefully set up their car for a head to head down the race track. And like true Jedis at one with the Force they prepared themselves quietly and calmly for battle. The cardboard formula one cars flew down the track recording lightning-quick times. In a matter of seconds, it was all over.

It had been a hard fought battle and after a day’s worth of demonstration, presentations and racing the judges got down to their deliberations.

We knew it would be a close call but when the results were announced Crackley Hall’s Team Storm had come overall third. The team were also awarded Best Portfolio and Pit Display.

Congratulations to the Silver Sprinters from fellow Kenilworth school, Priors Field who were proclaimed overall winners and go forward to the national finals at the Heritage Motor Museum at the end of June.

Mrs Holmes and Mrs Hardwick who have guided the Crackley Hall team commented “What an amazing day. Our Crackley Hall pupils have been such storm troopers. They’ve dealt with the pressure of competition so well and should be very proud of themselves.”

And to finish with one final Star Wars quote “The Force is strong in this one!”

Photos From The Day