Red Bull charge to Auckland

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23 Nov 2015

It's given them a few sleepless nights, but creating The Carbonizer hasbeen a lot of fun, say CPIT Bachelor of Engineering Technology students, who have spent months building a racing machine to compete in the biennial Red Bull Trolley Grand Prix at Auckland this Sunday (November 22).

Engineering students 
 CPITBachelor of Engineering Technology students with this year's entry for the Red Bull Trolley Grand Prix at Auckland. Getting ready to assemble the car for a test drive were from left rear, engineering tutor Alex Greasley, Sam McArthur, 19, Tom Jones, 21, Alwyn McCallum, 21 and front, Jared Cumming, 21.

While designing and building The Carbonizer was done in their own time outside their normal degree studies, the five students involved had added new skills to their tool box, CPIT engineering tutor Alex Greasley said.

"There's nothing like having to do something to make something. These guys have drawn on existing skills and learned new ones to build this trolley car, including using the machinery to make the mould, to the carbon fibre modelling to make the body, to constructing the chassis."

It was also an exercise in procuring the right materials as well as project-related problem-solving, he said.

This year's silver-coloured mean machine was inspired by a futuristic car from designer-manufacturer Audi. CPIT was represented by Moon Rover, the trolley car built by current engineering students Harry Loughnan and George Prattley, when the event was last held in 2013.  The pair finished seventh in the race, which attracts about 50 teams chasing the $10,000 cash prize. This year's Red Bull charge will take place on a challenging new race track winding down the Auckland Domain.

CPIT's support of race car building as a vehicle to help grow New Zealand's technology and engineering talent will also be on show in another event next weekend, at Mike Pero Motorsport Park (Saturday November 28).

Engineering students 
 While his students were hard out sitting end of year exams this week, CPIT engineering tutor Alex Greasley proudly showed off the trolley car they built for this weekend's Red Bull Trolley Grand Prix at Auckland to major sponsors Hamptons ITM of Christchurch. In the cockpit fulfilling a boyhood dream was Hampton's company representative Glenn Oates. His company offered key support, including use of machine time to make the timber moulds for the car's body (in background). 

The institute helps facilitate secondary school STEM learning initiative EVolocity, the registered charity focused on educating kiwis about the environmental and economic benefits of electric vehicles.

The 2015 EVolocity high school programme was officially launched on March 22 at CPIT. About 16 teams took part in the inaugural 2014 programme, with that number more than doubling this year. Teams are equipped with an electric bike componentry kit and from this they design and build a vehicle for the motorsport event, which is the culmination of almost a year's work.

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