Gravity power car takes on a Lotus

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A CAR built by West Suffolk College students will be raced against a Lotus, yet is powered only by gravity.

Level three apprentices and 14 to 16-year-old engineering and motor vehicle students at the Bury St Edmunds college built their high-tech soapbox from recycled parts, backed by the not for profit company Formula Gravity, started by retired Hartest teacher David Ackroyd.

The students’ work was overseen by lecturers Derek Wilson and Steve Bassingthwaighte with technician Adam Alexander and the car was filmed for Channel Five’s Gadget Show.

It is now planned to race the car against a Lotus Elan on a mountain in Saarburg, Germany. The Norfolk-built Lotus will go uphill while the gravity race goes down to see which is fastest.

Having seen the gravity racer in practice on a Welsh mountain, David Ackroyd thinks it has a chance of beating the Lotus.

The project is expected to be accredited as a course by the Institute of the Motor Industry.