COLEG CAMBRIA students are in pole position for careers in the motor industry after the college put more than 150 rally cars through their paces.

Cambria’s Deeside site was again selected as the official scrutineering base for the Wales Rally GB leg of the FIA World Rally Championships and played host to 100 international and 77 national vehicles participating in the race, won by five-time champion Sebastian Ogier.

Service and Repair apprentices and students were given an exclusive opportunity to train and work as scrutineers under the guidance of the Federation International de l’Automobile (FIA) and Motor Sport Association (MSA).

Among them was MSA scrutineer Karl Andrews, the work-based assessor at Coleg Cambria who in the past two seasons has scrutineered at Silverstone with the Ferrari and Red Bull Racing teams, rigorously examining the cars of top drivers such as Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen.

Marshall Clayton, the college’s Deputy Director of Automotive and Engineering, said their Vehicle Maintenance Workshops are the best in the country and thanked the MSA for offering students the chance to get up close to the vehicles and witness first-hand the high-level of competition and advances in motorsport technology.

“We are delighted to have once again been chosen as the scrutineering base for Wales Rally GB, it was an incredible experience as always,” said Mr Clayton.

“The cars were with us last Wednesday and Thursday, where checks are made to ensure they complied with FIA regulations, which involved making sure the gearboxes, axles and turbos are calibrated and sealed and anything else they might use is road worthy and legal, from the helmets to clothes and steering wheels.

“A select number of class-winning vehicles were then chosen to be back at the college on Sunday after the event was completed, to be stripped down and examined to make sure they remain race compliant to FIA homologation accordance, as they were when they left our workshops.

“It is a massive effort from all concerned, but ultimately just a wonderful opportunity for our students to be a part of something as special as Wales Rally GB.”

He added: “At no other college are you going to get this kind of access to this standard of expertise.

“As a City and Guilds Technical Adviser I go to many colleges in the UK and overseas; I believe there is nobody to touch Coleg Cambria, we have the best facilities in the UK for automotive apprentice training, there is no doubt about that.”

As the college announced its 20-strong cohort for the WorldSkillsUK contest in Birmingham later this month, which features a number of representatives from Mechanical and Engineering courses, chief executive David Jones said the focus on industry partnerships was critical to supporting students in their chosen careers.

“Wales Rally GB is an example of Coleg Cambria working alongside a world-leading organisation to give apprentices an insight into what it is like to operate at the very highest level among the very best,” said Mr Jones.

“We are proud to have again hosted the scrutineering operation for the UK section of the World Rally Championships and look forward to further strengthening that partnership in the years to come.”

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