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West Suffolk College motorsport team are ‘up for the challenge’ as lights turn green on new racing season





As lights turn green on another F1 season, a college racing team has got their sights on creating a winning formula.

The group are all engineering students from West Suffolk College, based in Bury St Edmunds, and they recently travelled to Snetterton for a test day ahead of the beginning of the 2024 Nankang Tyres BRSCC Citycar Cup Championships.

This ultra-competitive series of events sees students turn a ‘normal’ car into a race car that then goes head to head in seven contests over the course of the next six months at iconic venues like Brands Hatch and Silverstone.

The West Suffolk College motorsport team is ready to go
The West Suffolk College motorsport team is ready to go

Alan Barrett, course director for motorsport at West Suffolk College and self-confessed petrol head, said: “We start at Snetterton in April this year and this is our third year in the competition.

“This time (for the first time ever) we have one of our students as a driver. The car is prepared and maintained by students and the experience, insight, resilience and hands on skills they get is second to none.

“I have been involved in motorsport since 1988 in various formulas. Being able to bring this experience to the college to try and enthuse students is extremely rewarding.

Brady Pollock - the level three motorsport student is the West Suffolk College driver this year
Brady Pollock - the level three motorsport student is the West Suffolk College driver this year

“Recently we had a test day at Snetterton with Josh Rattican (a GT4 driver) who gave our new driver Brady some advice. We came third overall in the driver’s championship last year and we are hoping to improve on that this time around. We are up for the challenge.”

“Any help from the community would be appreciated,” he added.

Brady Pollock, 18, from Haverhill, is studying on a motorsport level three course at West Suffolk College and he is the new team driver.

Brady said: “I do karting and I’ve been quite successful. This is a nice challenge and I’ve had a few sessions in the car.

“My ambitions are to get used to the car and the championship and finish as high as possible. I’ve got lots of trust in the team and I’m very focussed on doing well.

“I’m grateful to be given this opportunity and everyone is in it together. Long term I want to go as far as I can in the sport and do the 24 Hours of Le Mans one day. If I was to win this title I would be so happy for the team – it would be amazing.”

Tess Fradley and Lily Dowse are part of the West Suffolk College motorsport team this year and are 'in it to win it'
Tess Fradley and Lily Dowse are part of the West Suffolk College motorsport team this year and are 'in it to win it'

Two of Brady’s team are Lily Dowse, 18, from Bury St Edmunds, and Tess Fradley, 18, from Fordham. They are both on a level three motorsport course.

Lily said: “I’ve got a passion for cars and it’s been brilliant being part of the team. We are lucky as we have some great people around us. I reckon we have a decent chance of winning the championship.”

Tess said: “Our job is to look after the car and make it the best it can be for the driver. After college I want to get a job with a motorsport team. We are in this championship to win it.”

Last year's driver Hayden Payne has high hopes for Brady this year
Last year's driver Hayden Payne has high hopes for Brady this year

Haydn Payne, 18, from Halifax, was last year’s driver for West Suffolk College and he came along to encourage students ahead of a new season.

Haydn said: “This year my dad will be driving a car for West Suffolk College as well. I think if Brady keeps improving he will do very well.”

Simon, Brady’s dad, said: “Brady has been successful in karting and this is a great transition for him. This is a family thing and he has the tenacity, vision and drive to push on and be brilliant and I take my hat off to him.”

Simon (left) and Carey Pollock (right) are proud of their son Brady (centre) who is competing in this year's competition
Simon (left) and Carey Pollock (right) are proud of their son Brady (centre) who is competing in this year's competition

Carey, Brady’s mum, said: “To see his determination is inspiring. We are very proud of him and have no doubts about his abilities.”

To find out about sponsorship opportunities contact Alan by email: alan.barrett@easterneducationgroup.ac.uk