Slow and steady.
That was the automotive tech program’s strategy to take the win during the second annual Race Day at the Aiken County Career and Technology Center on May 25.
“We wanted to stay slow, be conservative in how we drove and not wreck,” said Aulstin Beard, 19. Beard and his teammates, Chris Brantley and Josh Powell, are students at North Augusta High School.
The event featured a derby-like race where each program competed in heats on a dirt track to qualify for the final round.
Each team received a kit to build a miniature vehicle, said Brooks Smith, the center’s director.
“They built their cars from the ground up and it mimics a real automobile,” he said. “They also designed and painted their car.”
Being in the automotive tech program helped in some ways, but it wasn’t the key to their win, said Beard.
“It helped knowing how different parts worked, but it really was all about the driver in this race,” he said.
The teams took a little more than a month to build and paint their vehicle and make sure that it would run.
The kit came in many pieces, so building the vehicle was a lesson in teamwork, said Alexis Mace, a North Augusta High student who competed with the cosmetology program.
“Everyone had to do their part in order to make it work, and we had to help each other. It had to be a team effort,” said the 17-year-old. “As a team, we also had to solve problems, like when our car wouldn’t go.”
Teammate and North Augusta High student Ansley Tyler agreed.
“There was a lot of problem solving and analyzing involved,” said the 18-year-old. “It was a fun but challenging project.”