Organised by The UCTC and Uckfield Rotary Cub.
Sunday saw 22 battery powered cars racing in the 14th Uckfield Mini Grand Prix, involving 20 local primary schools and some 200 children. After more than 4 hours of racing Rocks Park Primary School Uckfield won the final,followed by (2nd) Nutley Primary School and (3rd) High Hurstwood Primary School.
The cars had been built, under close supervision, from kits supplied to the schools, and then decorated by the pupils. After a parade lap, racing began in earnest – each heat saw four drivers competing with each other round the compact course. Each driver raced two laps before pulling into the pits to hand over to a team-mate, with slick change-overs a major advantage.
A regular feature of Uckfield Festival, the Mini Grand Prix is a joint venture between UCTC and Uckfield Rotary Club, having evolved from pedal car races organised by Rotary in the 1990’s. The detailed organisation is in the hands of Sam Maher, Chris Gauntlet, Charlie Stringer, Paul Page-Mitchell, Colin Cornford and Rory O’Connor, who is a member of the Rotary Club and a teacher at the College. Rotarians acted as pit stewards, sold ice-creams and helped build and take down the course. College staff and students staffed various points around the track.
Sponsors included Uckfield Motor Services, East Sussex National, Tesco, Addagrip and George Rose & Son, as well as the providers of tyres and straw bales to mark the track. TR Fastenings once again let their car park become a race track, while Uckfield FM supplemented the commentary. Rotary President Roger Linthwaite presented the victorious (1) team with medals and (non-alcoholic) fizz, which was sprayed, Formula 1 style, over anyone in the vicinity. He commented:
“The Grand Prix is a magnificent team effort. Our thanks go to all the sponsors and to everyone who contributed to this great event, especially to TR Fastenings for the use of their car park. We are also grateful for the help of Uckfield Festival Chairman Dorothy Sparks in putting on this year’s Grand Prix”.
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