SCHOOLCHILDREN working on a racecar took a VIP visitor on a whirlwind tour of their school.

County Durham Lord Lieutenant Sue Snowdon talked to staff and students at The Education Village, Darlington, who are working on an electric powered car that will compete at Croft Circuit in July in a bid to win through to the final stages at Goodwood.

Year eight students have been developing the aluminium bodied battery-powered car that will have to compete in two 90 minute races in an engineering and sporting challenge.

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Guided by DT teacher Mark Brown, the team is also being mentored by experts from Cummins Engines.

He told the Lord Lieutenant: “We are doing this in curriculum time to give them a flavour of engineering in the real world.

“The North of England heat will be held at Croft Circuit on July 2 and half the team will form the driver and pit crew responsible for the performance of the car on the day.

“We will be testing in the school grounds but on the day they will have to work out any issues that arise, just like in Formula 1.”

Mrs Snowdon said: “You can see the students thinking this is where I want to go. The car is absolutely amazing and it will be incredible to compete at Croft and possibly Goodwood.”

Executive Director Richard Gartland then showed the Lord Lieutenant the diverse range of education at the centre, which is home to primary, secondary and complex needs students.

She said: “My background is education and I find children fascinating. It has been a pleasure and privilege to visit the Education Village.

“The facilities are superb and the teaching is inspirational, with first class support.”