Students getting to the grid at Knockhill

Friday April 5th 2019


From left to right: Martin Tracy (Edinburgh College Automotive Instructor), Brian Alexander (Automotive Lecturer), Ton Denham, Scott Milne, Kia Hutchison, Hollie Amos, Josh Middleton, Mikus Lacis and Sandy Bruce (Edinburgh College Automotive Curriculum Leader)

A group of Edinburgh College Automotive students have had a glimpse into life in the racing world, playing a key role in supporting a Scottish team to get track-ready.

Transport Maintenance SCQF 4 students had their first experience of building a car ready for the race track as they have been working on converting a Citroen C1 road car into a race car fit for competing at Fife’s Knockhill circuit in the Scottish C1 Cup next week.

The Tom Denham C1 arrived at the College’s Midlothian Campus on 5 March when the students were given a month to get the car ready for racing in the season opener of the inaugural Scottish Citroen C1 Cup on Sunday 7 April.

The 2019 Scottish C1 Cup is run by Scottish Motor Racing Club and is sponsored by the Scottish Motor Trade Association. It will see teams compete in six race meetings throughout the year. Each meeting will consist of two 10 lap sprint races. Tom Denham Racing will line up on the track alongside a grid full of identical C1 Cup cars.

The partnership between Tom Denham Racing and Edinburgh College has seen students take the C1 from a shell to fully functioning race car. In preparation for the conversion, much of the existing vehicle interior and sound proofing materials were removed. A significant amount of preparatory work was then undertaken on the vehicle interior and exterior structures to ensure the vehicle was in the best possible condition for the rebuild.

Since then, the students have worked tirelessly fitting the car’s new interior including a roll cage; harness; racing seats and rails and a camera; as well as adjusting the car’s body and electric to make sure it is ready for the green light on race day.

As well as converting the car, Edinburgh College students will play a key role on race days too, with a small team performing crucial maintenance operations to ensure the team has the best possible chance of winning.

Driver and owner Tom Denham said: “Firstly, I want say thank you to the staff and students at Edinburgh College for all of the hard work they have done in building the car in a very short space of time. I’m proud to be representing Edinburgh College and working with students, staff and my commercial partners to forge a successful and enjoyable partnership for this season. Now let’s go racing.”

SMRC business development manager Rory Bryant said: “We’re delighted to welcome Tom and Edinburgh College to the C1 Cup this year. Edinburgh are now the second college to commit to building and running a car in this championship – with West College Scotland also fielding a car – so we’re looking forward to seeing lots of close but friendly rivalry between the two this year.

“From our perspective, it’s great to be working with colleges to get students involved in the championship. Success on track requires a strong team that can work quickly and effectively under pressure; we hope that this is a positive experience for all the students involved and perhaps it will even inspire a couple to pursue a career in motorsport.”

Edinburgh College Automotive curriculum leader Sandy Bruce said: “It has been fantastic for our students to have been involved in a live project which will see this Citroen C1 take to the track at Knockhill – they’ve been very excited and enthusiastic about working on the car which they will then see on the track in real competition.

“They’ve worked very hard under pressure to get the car turned around so quickly – huge congratulations to them. Most importantly, the project has enhanced the student experience massively, which is always our primary objective. Good luck to team Tom Denham Racing for the season ahead.”

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