By Jeremy Sollars
Participants from Warwick State High School’s ‘Formula Student’ program got the chance to put the race car they built from scratch this year through its paces at Brisbane’s Lakeside Park last Friday 26 October.
The Free Times has been following the program which involves construction of a production vehicle along the lines of a sports car and is run at a number of high schools across south-east Queensland, with teams from 14 others joining our fellow revheads from Warwick SHS at Lakeside Park for a day of trial runs.
The Formula Student concept was the brainchild of Brisbane businessman and motorsport enthusiast Greig Frankham, with Dalby SHS taking out the overall honours last week, while our local crew won the ‘Best-Presented Car’ award.
The Year 12 members of the program built the 2018 vehicle and the Year 11 participants have been working on next year’s, which is now at the pre-assembly stage.
Last week’s trial saw 10 Year 12 students take to the track over two three-hour sessions of driving, in 35 degree heat.
Program supervisor and manual arts and design technology teacher Michael Plant said the students worked as a team on the day to change drivers and conduct pit and fuel stops – and proudly represented their school.
“There were grins from ear to ear – it was an extremely well-run day and Lakeside were terrific,” Michael said.
“We weren’t the fastest on the day but we were consistent and we didn’t have any major mishaps.
“But it wasn’t a speed trial, it was an endurance trial and the main goal of the day was to have fun.
“The camaraderie between the schools was great to see.
“We were very pleased with how the car ran – there were no reliability issues but we will be making some minor modifications to improve things like air-flow to the engine and the car’s weight.
“These were things we learnt from the trial.”
Michael thanked the parents of the students who made the trip to Lakeside Park and Warwick SHS principal Joy Craig, who also came along for the ride.
The Formula Student program is run out of Warwick SHS’s Trade Training Centre at the corner of Victoria and Guy Streets, a fully-equipped engineering workshop.
The program is supported by a range of local businesses, including Warwick Holden, Mirror Finish Smash Repairs, We R Signs, Warwick Screenprinting and Embroidery, Warwick Sandblast and Powderpaint and Arcpoint Industries at Allora.