Speedy go-karts ac­cel­er­ate learn­ing curve

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - WHAT’S ON - MATT BROWN

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.

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