F24 Race day, 16th July

The big day arrived when Hornsea School challenged other schools in the region testing their F24 racing car in the centre of Hull. Katie Shelley (Year 9 F24 race team leader) gives us this report. The countdown to the race came fast – it was a nerve-racking experience. Bright and early on Sunday morning we arrived at promptly at 7:30the Kcom Stadium. The atmosphere was amazing, everyone was helping out, the buzz in the air gave us the motivation we needed. We set-up right in a corner with our van, gazebo and chairs – the other teams were green with envy at the sight of our cosy little corner! The first hour was basically just settling in and getting everything prepared. Time for the scrutineering; we all gathered around the car eagerly watching an Official eye our stunning car. They pointed, poked and pushed until they finally gave our car the sticker of approval. We sighed with relief. We were one step closer to crossing the finish line. The practice laps were probably the most daunting part of the day. Together with 35 other cars we made our way to the pit, waiting to be given the signal to go. This was the first time the drivers had seen the track. With only 3 laps each before they would have to come back in to change over these 3 laps were crucial practice. As each driver had their turn we were soon on to our last driver Sophie. Currently, our fastest lap time was 1.09 minutes. Clearly we were amongst the front runners. The scary truth was that no one really knew how the big race would go in comparison to these few practice laps. Once every driver had their turn we made our way back to the gazebo to practice our changeovers. Every driver had a strict time in order for it not to affect our place in the race. We had advice coming from lots of different parents; James Britton helped us with the engineering difficulties; John Bottomley provided some music to add to the atmosphere! Richard Bremer gave us his advice on racing techniques, the amount of support we had was over whelming. When starting the project I don’t think we could have imagined how many people would give up their spare time to help us out and the number of sponsors we had. So many people wanted us to do well. Some sponsors came to watch us on the day. It was great for us to demonstrate what their money and support had helped us achieve. When it came to the race, I can confidently say that there wasn’t one person on the team who wasn’t nervous! Everyone knew exactly where to be …nothing could go wrong. Morgan was our first (and oldest) driver, he was so excited and couldn’t wait to get to the grid and start the race. He had a great start and he was flying round the track; everyone was cheering. It became clear why we had given up so much of our time to build this remarkable car. When Morgan appeared around the second bend, he was on his fifth lap and doing amazingly well. The roaring crowds began to cheer as he shot round the corner and on to the straight, but suddenly someone came up on his right hand side. Trying to overtake him, it was clear the other car wasn’t going to make it and he cut Morpheus off, straight in front of Morgan. Morgan had no other choice but to swerve into the barrier, to avoid hitting another car. He tried his best to steer into the pit but the car was battered and bruised. As we took the carbon fibre body off, we saw the problem – the passenger-side wishbone had hit the barrier and was broken. This is where our intensive training and skills came into play, the team immediately knew what to do and acted quickly. I couldn’t have been more proud. Within 9 minutes we were back on the track and screaming in celebration. We knew we’d lost a lot of time, it didn’t matter our place in the race, it didn’t matter who was in front of us… ‘Morpheus is back and flying’ belted through the speakers – that was all we needed to hear. Mr Moorfoot would’ve been so proud of our efforts and our team work, he would’ve enjoyed the day so much. We loved that we were representing his name so well. We finished the race so happy, and proud of the team – the crash only motivated us more to do well. Coming back to our gazebo we were welcomed with cheers and congrats and we were delighted! Before the second race we spent our time walking round the other teams’ cars and it was only then we realised the scale of the whole thing. Our county is so talented and not one of the cars was weaker than another – it was astounding to see the skills that had gone into making these cars. On our final race, the team moral was great. Everyone had the incentive to do all of our supporters proud. Winning wasn’t important – we were achieving our quickest lap time ever, that was enough for us. Every driver in the second race did so well, especially our fastest – Elisha. We were in 1st/2nd place by the time it got to Sophie and we were enjoying every minute of it! Sophie was doing even better than we could have wished for her! In the last 10 minutes, Sophie faced a big challenge: she was hit by another car and the bodywork was loose. She was forced to exit the track. We soon had the bodywork back on – though we had lost our position and dropped to eighth place. However, thanks to Sophie’s speed and determination, we triumphantly finished fifth. After our own personal celebration we all made our way to the Awards giving, where we were incredulous to receive ‘The Greenpower award for the best team spirit’. We walked away from the day with smiles from ear to ear. I was so honoured to part of team Morpheus. Making everyone proud was our priority and I can surely say we did that. We represented our school and Mr Moorfoot beyond our hopes. Honestly it was one of the best days ever. I can’t wait to do it all again with my amazing team.

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