Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has extended its long-running support for the March CE Primary School in the annual Greenpower IET ‘Gathering of the Goblins’, Britain’s premier event for electric-powered racing cars designed, built and driven by schoolchildren.
For this year’s event, the company has provided a second, brand-new car for the school, which is adjacent to the Home of Rolls-Royce. Originally intended as a replacement for the school’s faithful and storied machine, the new car gives the team additional strength-in-depth, and a chance to attempt an unprecedented one-two in the race on Sunday 21 July.
Both cars have been built by the children from kits developed by Greenpower Education Trust, a UK‑based charity that encourages children aged 9-11 to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects through motorsport.
While the chassis and powertrain are common to all entrants and subject to strict scrutineering, competitors are free to develop their own designs and finishes for the bodywork. The children worked in pairs to come up with proposed designs, which were submitted for review by Rolls-Royce Apprentices. The Apprentices then worked with the children to develop and select the final concepts for the two cars, before realising them at the company’s head office and manufacturing plant at Goodwood.
The new March School car will make its race-day debut in a striking shark-inspired paint scheme. The body is painted in Dark Emerald with a single Black coachline and Matte Grey bonnet strip; the rear section is adorned with a black-and-white Union Flag, and the seat is trimmed in leather in a red-and-white chequered pattern. To complete the ensemble, the lucky driver will be sporting a helmet colour-matched to the car’s Dark Emerald coachwork and topped with ‘scales’.
For its sixth appearance at the ‘Gathering of the Goblins’, the school’s original car has been completely refurbished by the Rolls-Royce Apprentices team. Its colour scheme, though also sea-related, provides a complete contrast to its team-mate. Decorated with shoals of fish, jellyfish, palm trees and other seaside staples in cheerful candy colours, plus a red-and-white chequered seat, it captures all the fun of a day at the seaside at the world-famous West Wittering Beach, just a short drive from the Home of Rolls-Royce.
The two completed cars were formally handed over to their respective drivers and pit crews at a special ceremony at the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood on 16 July.
Andrew Ball, Head of Corporate Relations, Heritage and Philanthropy, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, says: “It has been our privilege and pleasure to be involved with the school on this project over a number of years. With its emphasis on design, creativity, engineering and performance, it chimes perfectly with our own values and activities as a company.
“We supplied the original car, which is still going strong. It’s given so much pleasure to so many children that we were only too happy to extend those opportunities further with a second machine. Working on Goblins has also proved extremely popular with our Apprentices, for whom it provides a whole new set of challenges and an opportunity to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with those who may, one day, follow in their footsteps. We wish both teams every success.”