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Young racers battle the elements to compete at Lotus track - in cars they build themselves

PUBLISHED: 12:52 09 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:52 09 June 2019

Budding young engineers in Norfolk put their homemade kit cars to the test in an inaugural racing event at the world-renowned Lotus test track at Hethel. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Budding young engineers in Norfolk put their homemade kit cars to the test in an inaugural racing event at the world-renowned Lotus test track at Hethel. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

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Vehicles fit for the future were put through their paces by drivers of the future over the weekend, as youngsters raced around the home of one of motoring's most iconic names.

Students cheered on their teammates in the rain. Picture: Victoria PertusaStudents cheered on their teammates in the rain. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Hundreds of schoolchildren from the county and beyond braved difficult racing conditions at the Lotus test track in Hethel on Saturday - in electric cars they had built.

It was part of an event organised by the Greenpower Education Trust, a charity which was set up to inspire young people to engage with eco-friendly engineering and technology.

Nine Norfolk schools in total took part in the event, with children aged between 11 and 16 providing every aspect of the competition - from drivers, to engineers, to pit crews.

Some schools were competing in the event for the first time, but despite battling conditions even the likes of Lewis Hamilton would struggle to race in, the youngsters did not hit the skids.

Budding young engineers in Norfolk put their homemade kit cars to the test in an inaugural racing event at the world-renowned Lotus test track at Hethel. Picture: Victoria PertusaBudding young engineers in Norfolk put their homemade kit cars to the test in an inaugural racing event at the world-renowned Lotus test track at Hethel. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Matt Buck, who teaches at Town Close School in Norwich and is Norfolk's Greenpower ambassador, said: "The weather was atrocious but it not stop the event being a terrific success - it just told us if we could pull it off in that we could do it any day.

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"It was a cracking day and Lotus did everybody proud in hosting the event."

The young racers took part in two 90-minute races, with each school providing three drivers per race.

Budding young engineers in Norfolk put their homemade kit cars to the test in an inaugural racing event at the world-renowned Lotus test track at Hethel. Picture: Victoria PertusaBudding young engineers in Norfolk put their homemade kit cars to the test in an inaugural racing event at the world-renowned Lotus test track at Hethel. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

And while the first of the two races was won by a visiting team, it was Town Close that received the checkered flag first in the second.

Mr Buck said: "We are absolutely chuffed to bits to have won one of the races.

"However, that is not what the day was all about and every child that took past came away with a sense of achievement and with big smiles on their faces."

The Norfolk schools that took part were City of Norwich School, Caister Academy, Framlingham Earl High, Cliff Park Ormiston Academy, Northgate High in Dereham, Wayland Academy, Langley Senior School and University Technical College Norfolk.

Budding young engineers in Norfolk put their homemade kit cars to the test in an inaugural racing event at the world-renowned Lotus test track at Hethel. Picture: Victoria PertusaBudding young engineers in Norfolk put their homemade kit cars to the test in an inaugural racing event at the world-renowned Lotus test track at Hethel. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

A number of the schools taking part were only able to do so thanks to a grant from Great Yarmouth-based Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm.

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