BFGoodrich backs teen team in Land Rover Technology Challenge finals
Off-road tyre specialist BFGoodrich is throwing its weight behind a team of budding young engineers who are vying for global glory at the world finals of the Land Rover 4×4 in Schools Technology Challenge.
Called EDGE4x4, the Year 10 students from King’s School, Worcester, claimed the prestigious UK Champions prize and the Best Engineered Vehicle accolade at the UK National Finals held at Silverstone last March. The team faces tougher tests in 2018, having progressed from the ‘Development Class’ to the ‘Professional Class’, but they’ve got off to a triumphant start at January’s Regional Finals – coming first overall and winning awards for Best Track Performance and Best Engineered Vehicle.
Next up for EDGE4x4 are the 2018 National Finals of the Land Rover challenge – which requires students to build radio controlled four-wheel drive vehicles that can successfully conquer off-road test tracks and emulate the capabilities of a full-size 4×4. BFGoodrich is one of the team’s four main sponsors and is helping to steer the gifted quintet into the world finals this December.
Toby Weymouth, EDGE4x4’s 15-year-old marketing & sponsorship manager, says: “BFGoodrich is the best company in the world when it comes to off-road tyres and we’re so chuffed to have them supporting us as a Gold sponsor. It’s a huge achievement. We’re even going to paint their logos on the little tyres of our newly built radio controlled 4×4. With their backing, we’re fully focused on reaching the world final later this year.”
EDGE4x4 achieved their success last year with a mini Land Rover they designed and built themselves – and they’ve entered exciting new terrain with their 2018 offering. Weymouth reveals: “We have made a new vehicle, which we started in September. It’s a prototype designed by us and based on a Land Rover Forward Control 101 – but we’ve modified it to be a flood relief vehicle. One of our first sponsors was UK Flood Barriers which is why we decided to make an amphibious flood relief vehicle. We were asked to design it for UK Flood Barriers as if it really was a vehicle. As a result, we’ve created something that has never before been seen in this competition.”
Looking back at his team’s formation and how far they’ve come, he recalls: “We did initially get some help from our teacher, who has vast experience of the competition and mentored us through the early stages – but ultimately it was down to us. Now we’re doing it completely on our own.
“We’re very confident we’ve got what it takes to succeed at the regionals and reach the nationals again. If we do well at the nationals and manage to get a spot in the top three in the country, we’ll progress to the world final – which is likely to take place in either Abu Dhabi, Singapore or Texas. That’s what we’re aiming for – it’ll look pretty good on our CVs.”
Mark Meagher, BFGoodrich’s programme manager for the UK and Ireland, comments: “We’re delighted to be sponsoring EDGE4x4 as they continue their incredible campaign of success in this challenging competition. BFGoodrich is always eager to support the young automotive innovators and engineers of the future, and we’re convinced this highly capable group can go all the way in 2018 and take their radio-controlled vehicle to the world stage in December. We wish them the very best of luck.”