The winners of the British Schools Karting Championship (BSKC) 2013 have enjoyed a VIP tour of the famous McLaren Technology Centre in Woking. The state-of-the-art centre is where Formula one cars driven by renowned speedsters, including Mika Hakkinen, Ayrton Senna and Jenson Button, are designed and housed.
The visit celebrates the success of Adam Fleming, 15, Charlie Morgan, 17, and Adam Watkins, 17, from Heart of England School in West Midlands at the BSKC national final. The team achieved high places in all of their six deciding races at the event, which took place in June 2013.
31 teams out of the original 539 that entered this year made it through to compete in the final for the coveted title of BSKC champions. The competition is the largest schools karting competition of its kind.
Charlie Morgan, one of the lucky winning drivers, said: We were pretty excited about the McLaren visit as we are all huge fans of Formula one and winning an exclusive tour of what is essentially the nuts and bolts of F1 was incredible. We got to see cars that have been driven by some of the biggest motor racing stars and where the McLaren team have their cars serviced before they are sent off to race.
Engineers at the centre have access to the latest technology, which provides them with the tools to design, manufacture and test cars to optimise their performance and ensure their success on the race track.
We were amazed by the astonishing equipment, including a laser cutting table where the carbon fibre that accounts for approximately 80 per cent of an F1 car is shaped into parts for assembly, said Charlie.
Mark Turner, Championship Manager at the BSKC, said: We are so grateful to Vodafone McLaren Mercedes for giving the boys such a fantastic experience. Every one of the top 10 Formula one stars today began their careers in karting so it is great that these talented boys can get an insight into the pinnacle of motor sports.
The BSKC was launched in 2007 to provide affordable access to motor sports for school children. The popularity of the competition has increased rapidly since 2007 when only 22 teams entered. This has grown to over 500 teams competing for the last two years.
It is a great way for schools to offer a fun and competitive team motor sport to girls and boys, aged 13 to 18, continues Mark Turner. While there are some pupils who already have karting experience taking part, many enter the competition having never participated in motor sports before.
With all the equipment and karts provided, all students need to do is turn up and drive. It provides an alternative sport for schools to offer children that are not interested traditional sports like football, rugby or netball.