That headline sums up the uniqueness of our North East heat held at the Croft Motor Circuit, as it is the only event in our season that hosts all three age groups at the same venue on the same day.
This gives all the age groups a chance to see what the others in action. The Goblin participants were enthralled to see cars such as Jaguar Land Rover's CX-EV and Sandbach High School's very distinctive Brian competeing in the IET Formula F24+ level. Meanwhile, Allendale Middle School made the most of the opportunity by being the only team this year to compete in IET Formula Goblins and IET Formula 24 simultaneously, something we hope to see more of next year.
Out on track the day kicked off with the IET Forula 24+ race where Jaguar Land Rover grabbed their first win of the season. Two teams who had made the lengthy journey from the Highlands of Scotland were well rewarded with 2nd place going to Pentland Electric Racing and third to North Highlands Yound Engineers Coyote getting third place.
While the F24+ was running the IET Formula Goblins for junior schools got underway. One of our most travelled teams, Bursley Academy travelled up from Staffordshire (having made the trip all the way down to Cornwall two weeks earlier) and set out in their usual well drilled, confident style, with their three cars sharing honours all picking up places in either Drag, Slalom or Sprint. There was also a very impressive display from the three schools supported by Sheffield's Birley Community School's Birley Young Engineers; Rainbow Forge who took the Spirit of Greenpower Award, Birley Community Primary School who were the overall winners and Birley Spa who shared the Portfolio Award with the other Birley Young Engineers.
On to the IET Formula 24 heat and this year saw a healthy 35 car line up with 4 new teams entering for the first time - Yarm School, John Spence Community High School, Ullswater Community College and Red House School.
Coyote, fresh from their F24+ Podium finish made an excellent start as did Abbotsholme School's Electric Blue. However, as is often the case in the 4 hour endurance challenge, both cars faltered towards the end, leaving the steady relaxed drive, coupled with extremely relaible engineering of Ripon Grammar School's Carbon Comet to take a well deserved first place.
Hot on the heels and closing all the way to the end were second and third placed cars Dougal and Brian from Sandbach High School. Dougal, the school's new car is a formidable looking work of engineering, beating the older, much loved Brian to second place, an excellent result for the first outing.
This really was a fabulous event, possibly helped by it being the first F24 event at which the GP team didn't get completely soaked this year (although a brief but fierce shower caught us all out just as the chequered flag fell). Huge thanks to the Croft Circuit staff, friendly and helpful as ever, to the local MSA volunteers who came along and added some experience to the pit lane marshalling, and to Newcastle University, Cummins, Cleveland Scientific Institution, Northumbria University, and IMechE Northe East and Automotive divisions for their support in the form of sponsorship, gift in kind and the amazing team of volunteers that they jointly provided.
Exciting news for next year is that, thanks to a grant from the Transformation Trust we should see the event grow with more teams from the Tyne Tees area joining in all age groups. Looking forward to seeing you all again then!