NigePresto_webHere we go again: another year, another set of expectations for teams to do well at this year’s Energy Breakthrough.

In the HPV Secondary, I’m expecting a ding-dong battle in the HPV C Class – which could be closer than the overall trial result itself.  Our interstate contingent this year includes Unity College (South Australia), James Shehan (NSW), Marist Sisters Woolwich (NSW) and Ormeau Woods State High – the winners of the RACQ Technology Challenge in Maryborough, Queensland. It’s great that these teams add a bit of spice and uncertainty to the mix. Could one of these teams cause an upset?

With light rain and cooler temps forecast, any team running a ‘head-out’ vehicle will have the advantage (although in Victoria these days there are very few who do run ‘head-outs’). Just another element of surprise!

Will one of these schools below be the first team to do 1,000 kilometres in 24 hours at Maryborough?

~ Nigel Preston, RACV Energy Breakthrough Planning Committee

So, do you think I’m close, or way off the mark?
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HPV Secondary

Last year saw the HPV Open spoils shared three ways: Kingswood won Design & Construction, Bendigo Senior the trial with their ‘built-in-a-day’ DIY and St Margarets School / Berwick Grammar won Display & Presentation and the class overall.

All three are expected to be frontrunners again, alongside a few other schools …

AWAQBendigo Senior SC

2012 Result: 1st on track, (Second Overall in HPV Open on points)
Prediction: Line Honours contender

With a modified preparation that excluded the Wonthaggi event in 2013, you can expect a strong performance from this team that covered 950 kilometres at Murray Bridge and finished 11th overall. Their achilles heal? Their front-wheel-drive, front-wheel-steer, carbon fibre and Kevlar vessel can be very time consuming to repair when they have a big shunt.
But STOP! And read that again: a front-wheel-drive, front-wheel-steer, carbon fibre / kevlar chassis and canopy. The technology in this thing is simply extreme and they tell me it’s stronger than ever.
… and what’s with that team name – ‘Assault with a Quiche‘? Read this >

CetoSt Margaret’s School and Berwick Grammar

2012 Result: 2nd on track, All-Female class winners
Prediction: Line Honours contender, All-Female class contender

Their vehicles are always slick, well drilled and the support crew is there in numbers. They were definitely stoked by winning the HPV Open class overall last year. I’d like to think they were going to knock off Bendigo Senior – and maybe they will – but looking at their team list I spy that they don’t have any Year 12s in their HPV Open line-up this year. They might just be out muscled by the Bendigo lads…

Expect them to be up against Bendigo Senior in the All Female class too, but the result might just be reversed there.

Kingswood College - EVOKingswood College

Prediction: Line Honours Contender

They’ve got a mix of year 12s, 11s and 10s – and they’ve been working to refine the current spec of EVO for the past few years, so if they can keep it clean, they could be there on the podium again. Their team manager, Andrew, runs a really good ship and they have great engagement with their past students who are often on hand to assist and support. If they can continue their strong past performances in the Design & Construction section, they could be class winners too.

MEC-StampedeMaryborough Education Centre

Prediction: HPV C Contender

Having wrestled the mantle of ‘best local team’ last year from Highview, we’re thinking they’ll be keen to hold on to that title as well as the HPV C overall class crown. But, they’ll have some stiff competition from a couple of teams that missed out on an HPV Open entry: Mt Eliza and Caulfield Grammar. (see below for more on those teams)

SubZeroEaglehawk SC

Prediction: HPV B2 Contender

The revelation of the 2012 Energy Breakthrough (for me at least) – they were lighting quick in qualifying after setting a Pole lap time of 1 minute 40 seconds (an average speed of 48.17 km/h!) and then continued on in the trial to win the B2 class by an impressive 14 laps.

HighviewHighview Christian College

Prediction: Wildcard re-entry to the Top 5.

They’re back in the HPV Open, All Female and B1 categories and we know that with such a strong history in the event, they are likely to be at the front again. Especially with a name like ‘Hong Kong Tiger’, that’s tremendous!

DangerZone-SmallWoodleigh College

Prediction: Dark horse – maybe third overall? B1 and B2 Contenders

They had a strong showing at Casey Fields back in October, finishing ten laps ahead of Kingswood and they were solid, but not stellar, in Murray Bridge. With an Open team mixed with Year 11, 10s and 9s – they might just be targeting the B1 and B2 categories instead.

VictoryCollegeVictory Christian College

Prediction: Contender in HPV B2

They flew in off the waiting list one week before the event last year and ended up winning the B2 Category overall on points.

MtEliza-NavelMt Eliza Secondary College

Prediction: Contender for HPV C

Another school that has recorded strong performances at other Victorian and South Australian events this year is Mt Eliza. They rallied last year after a few years in the wilderness and – whilst they just missed out on an HPV Open entry – they could definitely take out the HPV C class this year.
Oh, they also make some amazing videos, like this one >.


Caulfield College and Crusoe College

Caulfield: Contender in HPV C | Crusoe: Contender in HPV B2

Very unlucky to miss out on an Open class entry, I’m expecting the Caulfield guys and girls will be racing their hearts out to win the HPV C class with their slick Trisled Aquilla vehicle ‘BYO’. It went like a steam train last year – particularly from the start of the trial – and they could certainly be in the mix for the HPV C class this year.

Meanwhile Crusoe College raced well in Wonthaggi to win their class and were also competitive at Casey, but in the past they haven’t been able to convert this momentum at Maryborough.


HPV Primary


HPVA1 – Contenders: Maiden Gully , plus Jells Park and Frankston

Everyone (well everyone on our Facebook page at least) is talking up Maiden Gully to go back-to-back in the HPV Primary category. Well, their nine lap win was so dominant last year, it would be hard to go past them again. But expect Jells Park and Frankston to take it to right back to them again this year. Dark horse might be the crew from White Hills Primary, under the guidance of Roger Byron.

HPVA1 – Contenders: Clunes PS, Avoca PS, Diamond Creek, Tootgarook or Elphinstone

In the HPV A1 class (for Primary schools with less than 200 students), we’ve noticed that Clunes – who was beaten by just four laps by Avoca PS last year – is bringing a team full of Grade Sixers, whilst Avoca has two Grade fives. Will it be the difference? Or will someone else – a Diamond Creek, Tootgarook or Elphinstone – sneak through? Diamond Creek were the overall class champions last year after all.

Energy Efficient Vehicles


With the defending line honours school, Girton Grammar (Bendigo), electing not to enter a pedal+petrol, but just a sole petrol only entry, the race is now wide open for 2013.

Interestingly in the Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEVs), we note that there are some schools that really starting to specialise in a particular discipline and are starting to make it their own. Girton in the EEV Petrol only and Cobden in the Hybrid 2 classes come to mind.

Last year, we saw some great racing by Trinity, Maryborough Ed and Seymour College across Hybrid 1 Open and B/C, and in the Electric only – just one lap separated Holmesglen and Chairo Christian School. We welcome them back to rekindle those battles this weekend.