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Motorsport students visit World Rally Championship-winning factory

Coleg Menai learners also toured the motorsport department at Myerscough College

Coleg Menai motorsport engineering students were inspired by a recent visit to M-Sport’s factory in the Lake District.

They also visited the motorsport department at Myerscough College in Lancashire, where they gained an insight into further study opportunities in the field.

M-Sport is the home of Ford’s World Rally Championship team, also manufacturing Bentley’s Continental GT3 and partnering Jaguar in electric motorsport.

At the Cumbria factory, learners were able to see state-of-the-art race vehicles close up - including the Ford Puma Hybrid World Rally Car, the World Rally Championship-winning Ford Fiesta, Bentley GT racing cars and classic World Rally cars.

Engineering lecturer Daron Evans said: “The M-Sport factory is like any other production site, except they manufacture rally cars worth £1m each.

“Everything is manufactured there, from pen-and-paper designs to the final product. The learners said it was nothing like they’ve seen before, and gives them a bit more motivation.

“The M-Sport team competes all over the world, and seeing it first-hand gives the learners the sort of drive to think, ‘maybe I can travel the world’.

“All our second-year motorsport learners have been offered places at their chosen universities, with one student even given the opportunity to study a Masters in Motorsport Engineering at Coventry University.

“For students leaving us to go university, this could be a career path for them. They could get a placement there as part of a university course or they could gain an apprenticeship, so it was an eye-opener as to what’s available to them.

“Some of our students are more into design, some want to go into data engineering, some are technicians. In a team such as M-Sport they have separate and specific roles for everything - they have engine techs, transmission techs, brake techs etc - so they can see the pathways available to them.”

At Myerscough College, which runs motorsport courses up to degree level, learners were able to see student project vehicles including rally cars and single-seater Formula Fords.

Staff were also able to reflect on ways to enhance Coleg Menai’s Level 3 Motorsport Engineering provision, which is now in its second year at the Llangefni campus.

Daron said: “Myerscough benefited us as staff because we got to see exactly how they’re operating, and were able to get some ideas on how we can improve our own course.”

Coleg Menai is the only college in North Wales to offer motorsport engineering. The Level 3 Motorsport Engineering course gives learners the skills, training and technical knowledge to progress to a career, apprenticeship or university degree in motorsports.

All training is provided in industry-standard engineering workshops and technology-focused classrooms, with 150 hours of industry placements undertaken in the first year.

Learners also have opportunities to participate as a motorsport engineer at a race track, to modify a road vehicle to rally standard, and to volunteer as safety officers at motorsport rallies.

Do you want to work in the exciting world of motorsport? The focus of Coleg Menai’s Level 3 Motorsport Engineering course is to develop the motorsport engineers of the future. Click here to learn more.