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Young racers learn tips from land speed record holder

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 08, 2012

  • Nick Ponting, who broke the land speed world record in an electric car, visits Plymouth High School for Girls Team Hummingbird Picture: Lucy Blake

  • Plymouth High School for Girls' Team Hummingbird in the National Formula 24 Electric Car Racing Finals

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A land speed record holder has visited budding student racing drivers.

Nick Ponting, the land speed world record holder for electric cars, visited Team Hummingbird at Plymouth High School for Girls.

The all-girls team competed in the National Finals of Greenpower's Formula 24 Electric Car Racing Competition two years in a row and at this year's finals they received the award for the Best Presented Team.

Donna Roughton, head of mathematics at the school, said: "This reflects the effort of the whole team from the drivers to the pit crew, the manufacturing team and the girls who work hard at raising money to fund Hummingbird."

Nick Ponting presented the award at the Goodwood finals and visited the girls to talk about his exploits with electric cars.

Nick's achievements culminated in this summer's world record attempt in the Nemesis electric car at Elvington Airfield over a one mile distance and he broke the record on the first set of consecutive runs with an average speed of 148mph and then later 151mph.

After a question-and-answer session, Nick spoke about the future of electric cars. He said: "I believe that in 40 to 50 years' time about 80 per cent of the cars on the road will be electric. Oil is running out, so we need to investigate other fuel sources for cars.

"Manufacturers have already introduced dual fuel cars; with cars such as the Nemesis also showing that high speeds can be achieved with electric cars and that they have the batteries with endurance. Who knows where electric cars will take us."

Nick was also asked what was next for him and Nemesis. He said: "Next spring the plan is to take Nemesis to the salt flats in America and try to beat 200mph.

"It will be a challenge, but one that I look forward to."

Miss Roughton said: "We look forward to putting some of his advice into practice into the preparation for Hummingbird's next season of racing."

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