race team takes silver plate newA SCHOOL’s race crew was tuned and raring to go as it headed to the track in search of a podium finish.

Pupils from Marchbank Free School, Darlington, took part in the annual Greenpower Challenge, held at Nissan’s test track in Sunderland, and won the silver plate.

For the past four weeks pupils worked with engineers from Cummins to build and perfect their battery-powered Green Goblin race car, called the Marchbank Racer, which is capable of up to 20mph.

The Marchbank team, comprising Liam Eland-Smith, 11, of Darlington, Gary Jenkinson, 10, of Darlington, Luke Knights, 11, of Catterick Garrison and Summer Underwood, 10, of Brompton-on-Swale, took part in six races against schoolchildren from across the region.

Marchbank teaching assistant Kelly-Ann Smith said: “It has been an incredible experience and the children have learned so much, from team building to how to use tools. Many of them are really into their cars so really enjoyed taking part.”

Principal Mandy Southwick added: “The children were impeccably behaved and the level of effort was excellent. They all thoroughly enjoyed the experience and received a silver plate.”

The Marchbank team was also sponsored by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, which helped with the cost of the car kit and Cleveland Scientific Institution that provided £500 towards the cost of tools and overalls.