City College Norwich and Waltham Forest Training Days

Season 24 of The Student Motorsport Challenge

Ahead of the 2024 Student Motorsport Challenge season, the inter-series within the BRSCC Nankang Tyre CityCar Cup Championship, Student Motorsport Founder and Challenge series organiser John Paul ‘JP’ Latham and Head of Media Andy Lloyd delivered Introduction and Training sessions for two new teams to the Challenge paddock.

The sessions provided the students with a wide overview of the Student Motorsport Challenge along with some specific motorsport guidance around the structure of a race weekend, the roles within the team and the meaning of marshals’ flags. The two-day sessions also incorporated the ‘Pit Stop Challenge’ where students are trained on several tasks that need to be incorporated into a simulated against-the-clock pit stop. The tasks needed to be completed accurately and safely and the teams were marked accordingly.

City College Norwich - Students in Challenge Training Session
Waltham Forest College - Students in Challenge Training Session

City College Norwich and Waltham Forest College will be entering the Challenge for the first time in 2024 and both were keen to receive the Introduction and Training sessions ahead of the start of their build programmes.

City College Norwich is led by Head of Engineering Leon Wilde who is himself no stranger to Challenge competition after being the first entrant with West Suffolk College to enter the-then-fledgling series in 2022. Wilde took up his new position as Head of Engineering at City College Norwich mid-way through 2023 and will be bringing the Norfolk-based campus to the SMo Challenge in 2024 with the benefit of a season-and-a-half’s experience in the UK’s only student-focused track-based motorsport series.

Leon Wilde
Leon Wilde in his Student Motorsport Challenge Car

“The training days were a great ‘starting line’ for our new learners,” said Leon Wilde. “Students have used these days to kick-start them on the race car build and have taken real ownership of the process, using the Challenge Build Guide to keep them on track for the race car build completion date of the end of March.

“It’s been great to see Automotive students coming in for extra hours to support the programme and develop their knowledge and skills around motorsport. Media students have also joined the Challenge with weekly interviews and short video clips. Engineering students have been developing bespoke parts for the build using SOLIDWORKS and 3D printing.

“We are making good progress on our preparations and we can’t wait to join the Challenge grid at Snetterton for the opening weekend in April!”

Waltham Forest College, based near Walthamstow in East London, is led by Head of Automotive Vito Martino. The college has recently acquired its donor car and, ahead of the start of their build programme, Vito Martino was keen for his students to get a taste of what they can expect in their first season. 

The training days at Waltham Forest College were also supported by 2022/23 Challenge champions Team Northbrook Racing who were able to pass on their recent experiences and demonstrate how to build an effective, and winning, team culture.

Waltham Forest College - Training Day

“It was wonderful to see students getting involved and I’m looking forward to seeing our Student Motorsport Challenge adventure unfold!” said Vito Martino. “Already our Motor Vehicle students are getting excited about working on the build. We also have students from our Creative department looking to get involved in designing the car’s livery.

“The training sessions were received very well by our senior college management who are all looking forward to seeing how the project develops.”

Waltham Forest College - Students in Challenge Training Session

For Student Motorsport founder and Challenge organiser John Paul ‘JP’ Latham, the Introduction and Training sessions were an opportunity to get both students and college management excited about the journey they are about to start.

Challenge Founder JP Latham - Team Preparation
Challenge Founder JP Latham - Race Car Build Training

“Firstly, I want to thank Leon at City College Norwich and Vito at Waltham Forest College for their invitations to present the Student Motorsport Challenge within their colleges,” said JP Latham. “I very much enjoy these sessions and the opportunities they provide to speak directly to students about the Challenge. Our Introduction and Training Days at the colleges of our two new 2024 entrants were a lot of fun and, hopefully, reinforced to the students how much they can benefit from the real-world racing experience that the Challenge can offer them.

“I also would like to extend a huge ‘thank you’ to Mark, Leon, Daniel and Lorcan from Team Northbrook Racing for their support at the training sessions for Waltham Forest College. Cross-college support, especially for new teams on the grid, is vital in helping new entrants to get up to speed and get the most from their first season in the Challenge. TNR’s attendance was very well received by the students and staff at WFC.”

“I’m very much looking forward to seeing students from these two colleges in the paddock when we gather at Snetterton for our first race meeting of the new season. If the enthusiasm and commitment they showed at the training sessions is anything to go by, they should be raring to go when we arrive at Snetterton!”

For SMo Challenge Head of Media Andy Lloyd, the sessions offered a unique opportunity to meet with the teams to discuss their media and promotion plans for the new season.

Andy Lloyd - Talks Media at Waltham Forest College Training Day

“It was a delight to meet the students of City College Norwich and Waltham Forest College and hear about their media activities before the season starts,” said Andy Lloyd. “Promotion, media and sponsorship activation are a critical part of the work of any race team and it was clear that both colleges have some fantastic ideas for this even before their cars hit the track. I look forward to working with both teams as the 2024 season progresses.”

The 2024 Student Motorsport Challenge, part of the BRSCC Nankang Tyre CityCar Cup Championship, gets underway at Snetterton on April the 6th and 7th.