by Murray White
A CATHOLIC school has had a major hand in a revolutionary new electric car that will attempt to break a world speed record next year.
Fifth-year pupils and their technology teacher at St Richard's School, Bexhill-on-Sea, have joined forces with a number of leading engineering firms including the Lotus car company to launch the project.
One of the car's design teani, Matthew Harrison, a former pupil of the East Sussex school and now an engineer with Lotus has collaborated with science teacher Peter Fairhurst.
The new design came after pupils first tasted success with the BP "Build A Car" Award two years ago.
Mr Fairhurst said: "The pupils are very environmentally conscious, but it has taken a while to get together the sponsorship. We still need to find £5,000 to attempt the record."
Due to be tested next month, the car will be powered by a 45 kilowatt electric motor and standard batteries. It will attempt to break the I I-year-old world record in March.
Lotus Engineering, which designed the car's shell with Kevlar the same lightweight material that propelled cyclist Chris Boardman to an Olympic gold medal believe it icould be capable of a speed of more than 120 mph.
Mr Fairhurst, who has been designing cars since the early 1970s.said he had resurrected his hobby as a result of his former pupils' success.