The Bloodhound Education team welcomed thousands of visitors on our stand at the Silverstone F1 Grand Prix earlier this month. Hundreds of enthusiastic young engineers built and raced rocket cars in the Family Zone, while ambassadors took families on a ‘Tour and Explore’ around the full-sized show car in its heritage colours.
The event was particularly notable this year as it took place just a few days after Grafton LSR announced plans to carry out high speed tests at Hakskeen Pan in South Africa in October 2019.
“We are absolutely delighted by the news that Bloodhound LSR is going to the Northern Cape later this year,” said Kirsty Allpress, CEO of Bloodhound Education. “It was a hot topic on our stand at Silverstone and seemed to make the children even more excited than ever about building and racing rocket cars. Together, our outreach work and the running of the car provide such a powerful statement about how engaging engineering and STEM subjects can be.”
“I beat my Dad!”
On each of the three days at Silverstone, up to 12 Bloodhound Ambassadors – all volunteers – were very busy on the stand. Many worked in our temporary engineering workshop where 450 rocket cars were designed, crafted and raced. In addition, others built air-powered cars using K’Nex.
The fastest car over the weekend was built by 9-year-old Oscar, who returned every day to try to improve on his speed. On day three he was challenged by his father: Dad’s car managed an impressive 54mph, but Oscar’s rocket car triumphed with 69mph, beating not only his Dad but everyone else as well!
A Mercedes engineer later pointed out that the Bloodhound model rocket cars accelerate much faster than a Formula 1 racing car – Oscar’s car sped up from 0mph to 69mph over our 17m track, whereas an F1 car would only accelerate to around 35-40mph in the same distance.
Other families were also return visitors, with one set of parents telling lead Ambassador Anthony Rhodes that they return every year to Silverstone to try to improve on their previous rocket car speeds.