Student race team win silverware at Oulton Park Formula Ford event.

College of West Anglia motorsport team have good start to their season

As Lewis Hamilton takes to the grid this weekend for the Bahrain Grand Prix, a group of students are celebrating their own track success.

The College of West Anglia team have a new car and headed-off to Oulton Park recently, only to return with two pieces of silverware.

Students on the motor sport engineering course have re-built a car for this year's Formula Ford competition and driver, Jay Wheals, had a good run out with the 1600cc Swift.

He said the car had behaved well and was a great improvement over last year's mode, which is back in the workshop for modification and potential re-use on the tracks.

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The Isle campus of the college, in Ramnoth Road, Wisbech, is home to the course and around 28 full-time students are involved.

'They are getting proper industry experience, and it counts for a lot. We race all round the country and they work very hard,' said lecturer and team manager JP Latham.

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He said the new car had needed a lot of re-working by the students before it was ready for pre-season track testing at Norfolk's Snetterton circuit.

The team then headed to Oulton Park earlier this month for a weekend of racing and came away with trophies for achieving first and third in class.

'We are really pleased with how it's going. Jay brought the car in for the second trophy with a broken mirror. It was a really encouraging start and we are now fifth in the championship,' said Mr Latham.

There are high hopes for the next round of the championship which takes place in Anglesey on May 12.

The college will be offering motorsport engineering at degree level from later this year in a tie-in with Cambridge's Anglia Ruskin University.

The department will be moving in to state-of-the-art purpose-built workshops at the campus which is currently undergoing a major redevelopment.

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