Speedy go-karts accelerate learning curve
They were a far cry from childhood efforts held together with little more than rusty nails and hope.
A team of talented students have created four stroke speed machines.
Automotive engineering students from the Blenheim campus at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology have made the ultimate go-karts.
Next month they hope to leave other top of the south students behind to take out their first win at an inaugural grass go-kart tournament.
More than 20 teams from 16 schools in the Nelson Marlborough region will compete in the high-octane event at Tapawera Area School, near Nelson, on October 19.
The course, for year 11-13 high school students, is geared towards getting students out of the classroom for one day a week.
They get the chance to learn trade skills as well as earning NCEA credits.
Automotive tutor Richard Waddington said the students enjoyed the driving aspect.
‘‘During the year, they disassemble the engines, learn how they work and put them together again,’’ he said.
The three go-karts each have a different configuration, mid, rear and side engined.
Under the hood, so to speak, is a Titan 6.5 horsepower fourstroke overhead valve engine. There are no gears, just a reduction box and direct drive and they run cable operated disk brakes.
The students at the NMIT mechanical engineering course built the frames for the go-karts which have a top speed of about 30kmph.
Waddington said there was quite a bit of paperwork as well as the hands-on stuff.
‘‘They spend the morning in the classroom and the afternoon in the workshop,’’ he said.
The Marlborough course had students from Marlborough Boys’ College, Marlborough Girls’ College and Queen Charlotte College in Picton.
Student Henry CosgroveDavies said his love of cars attracted him to the trade academy course.
He enjoyed the course so much that instead of year 13 at Marlborough Boys’ College, he will instead attend the pre-trade automotive course at NMIT.
The pre-trade course counted as the first year of an apprenticeship and was designed to simulate a real work environment.
Waddington said the course was designed to ensure students were work-ready. ‘‘When they get out in the industry, they’re expected to work.’’
Cosgrove-Davies was confident their team would be bringing home the top prize at the inaugural grass go-kart event.
‘‘We’re gonna win,’’ he said. ‘‘Straight up, we’re coming first.’’
Hoping for a win with their go-karts are, from left, automotive tutor Richard Waddington, Henry Cosgrove-Davies, Luke Paul, Damon Hiscoke and Elliott Papps.