28 October 2022
As part of an exciting motorsport project, learners and staff launched themselves into an exhilarating racing championship, leading them to the high-octane tracks of Silverstone Racecourse this October.
The BRSCC City Car Cup is an affordable entry-level racing championship which gives our learners the opportunity to self-build a race car to specified standards and maintain it throughout the race season. The Student Motorsport Challenge is a sub-division of the BRSCC City Car Cup. Designed to be sustainable, affordable, and easily embedded into the curriculum, the challenge gives real-world insight into the industry that our Motorsport Engineering learners are working towards.
Racing against a total of 40 cars on the grid in the BRSCC City Car Cup this year, Coleg Gwent competed against several other colleges and universities within the inaugural inter-series Student Motorsport Challenge, including West Suffolk College, Chichester College, and Sheffield Hallam University. The championship culminated in the finale at Silverstone International Circuit, seeing Coleg Gwent racing at one of the world’s best-known racetracks.
Our core race team included 15 Motorsport Engineering learners from the City of Newport Campus and Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone, with some additional students involved in various preparation and development activities. They were responsible for building the race cars to conform with the championship regulations at the start of the project and maintaining them throughout the racing season.
The City Car Cup has been a great opportunity for students to apply the skills they’ve been developing through their course in a real working environment. The cars have been an excellent learning tool, giving context to theory lessons and underpinning knowledge with hands-on experience. During the season, our learners also developed interpersonal skills and built new relationships with championship organisers and fellow competitors, making it something they can include on their CVs to attract the attention of potential future employers.
With two cars entering the championship within the Coleg Gwent team, it’s been a truly collaborative project between learners and tutors from across our campuses. Tutors supported the learners to engage with the City Car Cup, helping to source cars and embedding the project into the Motorsport Engineering curriculum. They’ve guided the students to build and maintain the race cars, while using them as a fantastic teaching resource on campus and at championship events across the country.
On the track, tutors George Jones and Mark Pope took to the wheel in the finals at Silverstone, while lecturers Dan Lockett, Ben Shaw, Richard Cooper, and Alexis Dabee-Saltmarsh also supported the team or drove the cars at races throughout the season.
At the championship finale this October, our Motorsport Engineering students enjoyed the unique experience of working on the Coleg Gwent race cars in the world-famous Silverstone pit garages. Throughout the season, they’ve relished the challenge and enjoyed seeing the cars they prepared successfully competing on the racetrack.
Up against some strong competition from other colleges and universities who used professional racing drivers, the team proudly achieved nine podium places and trophies for Coleg Gwent, as well as a trophy for ‘best team of race meeting’. Overall, it’s been a successful debut season for the team Coleg Gwent racing team – congratulations to the students and staff who fueled this exciting project!
Motorsport Engineering is just one of hundreds of courses on offer at Coleg Gwent where your learning experience is enriched by extracurricular activities like the City Car Cup. Learn more about our courses at our next open event and take the driving seat towards your successful future career.