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Our Greenpower Team is ranked 27th Best in The World!

To read a snapshot of Greenpower click here.

Greenpower Mission:
  • To change current views about engineering, presenting it as a fascinating, relevant and dynamic career choice for any young person.
  • To demonstrate the importance of engineering, and associated STEM subjects, to solve the problems faced by societies today particularly in the areas of sustainability.
  • To link education, industry and community through inspirational engineering projects.
  • To promote social inclusion through engaging with vulnerable and economically disadvantaged young people.

Greenpower is a national competition in which schools, colleges, universities and businesses design, build and compete in electric racing cars. One 24 v Fracmo DC electric motor and two 12 v Yuasa batteries provides the power and is standard for all race entries. The challenge is for individual teams to design all other features - chassis, wheels, steering, electronic management, braking, bodywork, telemetry etc. to ensure their car is the fastest. Races take place at circuits all over the country at legendary venues such as Goodwood and Castle Combe. The regulations are as strict as those in Formula 1 and safety is paramount.

Competing at Greenpower events is a logistically complex and expensive undertaking. A huge investment of time, effort and money goes into the design and build of a Greenpower car. Once built, cars must be tested and retested and finally made race ready. Once registered to race, team members must be clad and helmeted and Greenpower cars must be transported to events all over the country along with tools, spares, drivers, pit-crew, design portfolio, chairs, gazebos, insulated battery boxes, umbrellas, cameras, registration paperwork and refreshments. On arrival, there is a frantic jostling for position in the queue to pass inspection and be declared fit to put in a few practice laps before the real racing has even started…

The Bourne Academy Greenpower team was founded in 2012 with our sponsor, Canford school, generously funding the purchase of a Greenpower kit car.

The kit was christened “The Bourne Bullet” and was soon being tested in the grounds of Canford school. (pic 1.)  The Bullet was competitive in its first racing season, winning a silver performance medal, a Best Newcomer award and qualifying for the National Finals at Goodwood.

Pic 1

Keen to design a scratch-built car, the team created “The Bourne Banana”. Despite some innovative features and its healthy pretensions, the Banana was based on a heavy steel chassis and at the 2013 RNAS Merryfield race (pic 2.) it managed a bronze performance medal.

Pic 2

The next step was to build an aluminium chassis. A life-size timber model was created first (pic 3.) and the actual structure was produced by students working weekends in The Academy’s workshop. The chassis became “The Bourne Beacon” – a nod to The Bourne Academy’s lighthouse themed house system. The Beacon raced at Castle Combe in the 2014 season (pic 4.) and was quick, reliable and robust. Progress was being made.

Pic 3                                                                                                                                         Pic 4

Designing, testing and building continued. Team members came and went. Innovations were trialled and either utilised or discarded, until finally “The Bourne Bobcat” emerged from the workshop in a bid to make its mark on the 2018 season. Based almost unrecognisably on the Beacon chassis, the Bobcat was highly competitive at Goodwood, (pic 5.) and at Castle Combe (pic 6.) and was back in the workshop until it reappeared the following season featuring numerous modifications to brakes, steering, drivetrain, wheels, tyres and bodywork.

Pic 5                                                                                                                                               Pic 6         

2019 was Greenpower’s 20th Anniversary and a year to celebrate. At the high-profile Goodwood season opener, “Derek”, the Bobcat mascot made his first ever appearance, wowing the crowds and The Bourne Academy was presented with the prestigious “Best Presented Team” award. (pic 7.)

Pic 7

Behind the scenes, the team worked quietly on the re-build of an old unwanted kit car – a gift from a local school. In the space of a few weeks, this kit was completed and dubbed “The Bourne Boxer”. Both the Boxer and the Bobcat performed brilliantly at the 2019 qualifying heats and the team was delighted when both cars were invited to compete in the 20th Anniversary Greenpower International Finals at Silverstone Circuit (pics 8-9.). After a fantastic day competing against cars from as far afield as the USA and China, the team were called to the prize balcony to receive the award for “Derek the Bobcat” – the best Greenpower mascot in the world (pic 10.).

Pic 8 (Boxer)

Pic 9 (Bobcat)

Pic 10

Sadly, the Covid pandemic halted all Greenpower racing, but when the 2021 Greenpower season was announced, the team were back in action and again performed brilliantly against tough opposition at the Goodwood and Castle Combe qualifying heats. The Boxer and the Bobcat both qualified for the 2021 International Finals at Goodwood. (pic. 11.) “Delilah” the Boxer mascot appeared for the first time and the team received their second major award at an international final, being celebrated as “Best Presented Greenpower Team in the World”. (pic 12.)

Pic 11                                                                                                                                     Pic 12

2022 brought a complete change of personnel to the Greenpower team and the new engineers have been learning their craft and most recently have been busy working on the kit car “The Bourne Buzzard” (Pic. 13) – actually the resurrected chassis of 2012’s “Bourne Bullet”.

Pic 13. (Buzzard)

In addition, the team members are designing a replacement for the retired “Bourne Bobcat” – a new lightweight streamlined scratch-built car, that they hope to complete this year and possibly race at Castle Combe later in the season.

A full scale timber model (Pic 14.) of this new car (to be christened “The Bourne Baboon”) has been built and work will soon begin on the actual build of what the team hopes will be a super competitive new car for 2024.