A team of teenage Explorer Scouts from Rugby are celebrating after finishing 3rd overall in the 2011 3DDC British Pedal Car Championship.
Swebbelli Racing Explorer Scout Unit put in a series of outstanding performances during the season to come home ahead of cycling clubs, other explorer scout units from around the country and even a couple of teams with cars built by a formula 1 engineer.
The 3DDC British Pedal Car Championship is a series of endurance races for single seater home built human powered cars which totals over 60 hours of racing spread over seven rounds from April to September on a variety of circuits from kart tracks such as Bruntingthorpe to cycle circuits like Solihull.
Four drivers take turns in the car at most races – rising to six drivers for the annual 24 hour race.
As if all that doesn’t seem hard enough, this year Swebbelli also chose to take on the challenge of designing and building their own coupe bodyshells for their Rowley-Apollo/M prototype race cars.
After six races, including the gruelling Shenington 24 hour in June, the Explorer Scouts were locked together in a battle for third place with two other teams – needing to beat them both in the season closing Curborough 150 mile race.
This they achieved with a stunning performance which saw them finish just behind the cyclists of the Rugby Velo team and ahead of Treads Cycling Club from Northampton – both teams which you would expect on paper to easily beat a team of teenage scouts – to finish third in the 30-car field.
Jes Featherstone (explorer scout leader) said: “Third overall in the British Championship, including three podiums during the year, is the best result ever achieved by a scout team in this open competition we are all incredibly proud of them.
“This is not an easy sport and they were up against some serious cyclists and some very experienced race teams.
“The amount of time they spent designing, testing, redesigning and thinking of innovative solutions to the problems that occurred during the development of these brand new and ground breaking cars is an absolute credit to this team of young engineers who seemed to spend most of their summer in the garage.
“The design of the gull-wing doors and the ventilation of the closed cockpit were two major projects but they set to and found solutions to both through ingenuity and hard work – plus a dose of trial and error!
“In a world where teenagers get a really bad press much of the time, it is fantastic to see this age group getting stuck in and producing results like this off their own backs and they have learned a whole load about practical engineering along the way, almost without meaning to!
“Having the number three on the car for next year will be a season long reward for them. The question is, can they go a couple of places better next year?”
To add to the achievement, the junior team also finished 15th overall and third in the PC2 class in the second coupe.
Swebbelli Racing now have the winter break to prepare for the 2012 season which starts in March.