Students from Horizon School gather around the Honda Civic EK. Pictured at front, from left, Martin Dunn, Steve Pound and Helen Pearson.
Students at Horizon School will have an opportunity to learn automotive repair and tuning skills this year following the donation of a top racing car.
Unfortunately, the Honda Civic EK suffered serious damage following a crash at Pukekohe Raceway last month.
Owner Martin Dunn, of Matakana, decided it was not worth his while to repair, so donated the body shell and various car parts to Horizon.
Former rally driver, Steve Pound of Algies Bay, who has extensive experience of rebuilding cars, has offered his services one or two days a week to teach students how to bring the car back to racing form.
Steve says students aged from 10 to 15 will learn about panel fabrication, panel beating, spray painting and how to install a replacement engine and gear box. They will also be taught about all the mechanical adjustments required to allow the car to perform at top speed – around 200km/h.
“I’ve never taught before, but I am really looking forward to the opportunity,” he says.
Steve spent 15 years racing rally cars, but gave up rallying 20 years ago. More recently he has taken up circuit racing as a hobby.
He normally works renovating homes but sustaining a back injury about a year ago has forced him to abandon that line of work. Now with his back improving, he feels able to devote his energies to the Horizon car.
It is hoped to have the car finished by October when it’s anticipated it will participate in endurance races at Hampton Downs.
Steve says students will get the chance to ride in the car during test runs and form part of the pit crew. Meanwhile, their dads will likely get to drive in the races.
Horizon principal Helen Pearson says it’s great to have a diversity of experiences for students, particularly for those who enjoy practical activities.
“Real life learning is important to us at Horizon and this is a real life experience. It’s much more fun than learning about mechanics from a textbook,” she says.