First Ever Australian Hydrogen Grand Prix a Roaring Success
On April 21 the Horizon Hydrogen Grand Prix (H2GP) came to Australia for the first time ever.
School teams from across Queensland and Australia got the chance to put their renewable energy engineering skills to the test - racing their self-built, hydrogen-powered RC cars over a thrilling 'endurance race'.
Over the course of this hydrogen-powered race teams had to use every scrap of knowledge gained over the past six-month educational program - such as hydrogen fundamentals, mechanical engineering, data analysis and much more - to actively solve problems in a team and keep their cars on the track.
By the final whistle, ‘Faith and Furious’ from Faith Baptist Christian College took home the Endurance Award - completing 542 laps in just under 4 hours. They will be off to America in September to attend the H2GP World Final.
Mason, aged 15, from Faith Baptist Christian College, said he was thrilled to be crowned champions of the H2GP in Australia.
“We encountered several problems with our car during the race,” Mason said.
“The hydrogen sticks we were using were not working at first, and there were several issues with the cars’ functionality in general, but with teamwork and perseverance we found creative solutions to these problems. We’re going to Las Vegas, we’re absolutely pumped.
“It feels amazing to be a school with less than 200 kids, competing and winning at a worldwide level.
Shantell Nelson, the teacher from the winning team, spoke about the obstacles the team had to overcome to win the race:
“Participating in this event has been a steep climb for our team from a small school to a big platform. We have climbed over many obstacles to get to this point and feel both rewarded and challenged in taking the next step with international competition.
Horizon Educational was honoured to host a variety of guests at the event: the Honourable Glenn Butcher MP (Queensland Minister for Regional Development), Peter Goggin (Stanwell), Michael Briggs (ABB), Mark Ellul (ANZ), Murray Shearer (Central Queensland University), Lea Diffey (Queensland Department of Tourism)Chris Filby (Queensland Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning), Daniel Kim (Ark Energy), Rob Williamson (Alpha HPA), Tim McDougall (Rio Tinto), Brian Inglis (Inglis Consulting), Jarrod Irving (Australian Gas Infrastructure Group), Prof Prof Bronwyn Harch (CQ University)), Peter Woodall (Stanwell), and Phil Richardson (Stanwell).
Director of APAC at Horizon Educational Ales Rakovsky said that he was impressed by all the entries in Australia’s first-ever Hydrogen Grand Prix and congratulated all the teams involved.
“The first Australian H2GP was a great success and Gladstone was the perfect destination to host the event.
“The region is a thriving hub for industry and innovation and the teams participating have enjoyed great support in the lead-up to the competition – and today – from local experts,” said Rakovsky.
Stanwell CEO Michael O’Rourke said Stanwell was proud to be a key partner of the H2GP which will now be held in Central Queensland for the next three years.
“We are delighted to be associated and sponsoring the H2 Grand Prix for the next three years. This event is a great opportunity to showcase the potential of hydrogen power and aligns strongly with Stanwell's strategy to drive the development of Queensland's Hydrogen industry and use new energy technologies, in order to help create a cleaner and more sustainable energy future”
“We look forward to seeing what exciting innovations come out of this competition over the next few years,” said Mr O’Rourke.
Palaszczuk Government Minister and Gladstone local member Glenn Butcher also congratulated the winners.
“Congratulations to Faith and Furious and to all those who participated,” said Butcher.
“You were all stars, and I hope you continue to pursue interests, study and a career in renewable energy.
“It’s the future of Queensland and we are well-poised to achieve our targets under the government’s billion Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan.”
Plans are now in place to recruit new teams of students from across Australia to participate in Regional Horizon H2GP events, including in Central Queensland. The location and venue for the 2024 national event will be confirmed later this year.
Schools interested in entering a team and participating in the H2GP program from Horizon Educational can visit https://www.h2grandprix.com/.