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Hampton students win again, fastest at the World's Fastest Half Mile

John Thompson • May 8, 2018 at 9:57 PM

HAMPTON — This has been a very good year for the engineering and technology students at Hampton High School. After winning several individual and team state championships at the SkillsUSA and Technology Student Association, Hampton’s students have achieved another accomplishment: they had the fastest solar-powered go-kart at the World’s Fastest Half Mile.

The school took first place in the fastest speed competition at the Bristol Motor Speedway Solar Go-Kart Challenge. There were 20 schools from around the region in the competition. The school finished in fourth place on the endurance part of the competition, which was won by Greene Technology Center.

This is actually the second year of competition for the solar powered go-karts. Each school was given a $3,500 from which each group of students had to build their own go-kart. This year, the students received an additional $1,000 in order to make repairs and upgrades.

Hampton students used the money for several improvements, including skinnier tires and moving one of the go-kart’s solar panels next to the second, forming a roof for the cart.

Zack Oliver, a junior said the secret to the school’s speed was hard work. “We stayed busy working on it whenever we had some free time.”

While they worked on improving the machine, Oliver said they did not have much time to work on the appearance of the cart.

Last year, Hampton teamed up with Unaka High School. Hampton worked on the mechanics and electronics while Unaka’s paint and body shop went to work on making the go-kart look like a winner. Oliver said they had hoped to do that again this year, but they did not get the word about when the competition was going to be held until just a few weeks ago, denying them time to take the go-kart to Unaka for the body work.

They plan to enter a sharper looking kart next year if there is another competition.

Caley Blevins, one of the drivers enjoyed the speed of the kart, but said that whenever the sun went behind the clouds there was a noticeable loss of power. But she said all the other enteries also went slower.

Seth Ramsey was one of the busiest students at Bristol. He served on the pit crew and was responsible for the mandatory change of drivers in the endurance part of the competition.

The Hampton students who worked on the winning project are: Zack Oliver, Called Blevins, Alexis Matheson, Tevor Eller, Trinity Camillo, Cody Vines, Zach Story, Houston Brown, Jonboy Taylor, Seth Ramsey, Everette Lydick, Macon Garden, Haley Hill, Tim Giardina, and Lillian Street (who is not in the picture).

Daniel Arnett and Bruce Wiltshire were the teachers on the project.

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