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Biddenham Upper School win Schools' Grand Prix

Sunday, May 22 2011

Biddenham Upper School have taken victory in the second Bedford Autodrome Schools' Grand Prix, after reigning champions Mark Rutherford Upper School suffered battery problems late in the race. A mature and measured drive from the winners contrasted to the pure speed of the two Rutherford teams but if they were not quite on the ultimate pace, consistency and clever pitwork kept them in the hunt throughout the four hours.

The race was turned on its head ten minutes into the final hour as the Rutherford Racing car slowed to a crawl. Almost coming to a halt in the pit entrance, the team worked frantically on the car as it lost two laps to the leaders. The two Rutherford teams held the first two places for much of the race but their pace proved to be too hot even for themselves as they struggled to keep the momentum going in the dying moments. Rutherford Racing did have the fastest lap of the race to give them some cheer.

The lack of pace from the Rutherford cars let St Thomas More School into third behind the Rutherford Griffins car and they were only two laps away from second place, an almost achievable task as the car ahead slowed dramatically. This was good consolation after seeing their second car bow out of the race with suspension trouble after just twenty-three laps.

The top four finished 9 laps apart over the four hour duration, with fifth place claimed by Bedford Girls School's Sparks car after a solid performance. They completed thirteen more laps than Dame Alice Harpur School's car, which was another four laps clear of Bedford High School for Girls' High Voltage machine.

However with the competition stretching the school curriculum, there were not just prizes for finishing positions in the race. Most reliable car was awarded to the winners, rather fitting considering the manner of their victory, whilst the most interesting technology was found in the cars entered by St Thomas More and Bedford Girls School claimed best pit stop.

The artwork of St Thomas More was praised for the best looking car, with Bedford High School for Girls having the best presented crew. Meanwhile outside of racing, Mark Rutherford Upper School were the best publicised team, with Biddenham Upper School having the best website and amongst the entertaining commentaries, the team from Mark Rutherford Upper School were the favourite.

Finally a well-fed team of judges declared Biddenham Upper Schools Royal Wedding tea party theme to be the best catering as a very satisfied crowd left the Bedford Autodrome circuit after a great day of racing.

Jan Schofield of Biddenham Upper School said, "we're delighted with the team effort of so many students who have been working hard over the six months to build the car, to create the hospitality and publicity. This has involved a range of departments from the school working on the project, plus a great team of sponsors. It's wonderful to win and we're looking forward to the Greenpower Challenge."

Click on the link below for further information on the Bedford Autodrome Schools' Grand Prix.