Motorsport lecturer’s top accolade from Santa Pod Racers Club

A motorsport lecturer from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College has won the prize for Best Appearing Car awarded by the Santa Pod Racers Club. Steve Cassisi was proud when his team’s Slingshot Dragster was singled out by the club at its annual prize presentation for its nostalgic 1960s style.
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Former tooling development and automotive engineer Stevejoined the college as a workshop supervisor more than a decade ago and gained his teaching qualifications while helping students to develop skills in motorcycle and light vehicle engineering.

Steve co-owns drag racing team, Limited Funz, which now has three cars including junior dragsters, and the Super Pro Nostalgia Dragster driven by Mark Coulsell and competes at circuits around the UK including Santa Pod Raceway, and at Hockenheim in Germany. Steve is proud of his main dragster which has achieved speeds of 0-60 mph within 1.2 seconds, covering a quarter of a mile in 8.07 seconds at a speed of 166mph.

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Steve leads on the college-based Level 2 and 3 Motorsport courses at NWSLC’s Nuneaton Campus and at the MIRA Technology Institute where students learn about sustainability in motorsport including hybrid and electric propulsion and alternative fuels such as hydrogen.

Steve Cassisi, motorsport lecturer, NWSLCSteve Cassisi, motorsport lecturer, NWSLC
Steve Cassisi, motorsport lecturer, NWSLC

Limited Funz team members’ children are also involved with dragster racing and have seen success in national competitions with Steve’s 12-year-old daughter Ada becoming the highest scoring female driver in the Junior Dragster class last season and being awarded Rising Star award. In three European events in 2023, the team saw its vehicles reach the finals earning a second place at Hockenheim. Mark’s son Harley won the Junior Dragster European finals at Santa Pod in 2023.

Students on the college’s motor vehicle programme have benefited from being involved in skills competitions, successfully triumphing over other colleges in the Footsteps to the Future Pitstop Challenge programme for entry and foundation level students. Students of motorsport, body repair and refinishing also get the chance to build a sustainable electric kit car to compete in challenges run by the Greenpower Education Trust which promotes engagement with science, technology, engineering, and maths.

Motorsport students attend track days as part of their qualification, testing the college’s Mazda MX5 and a Radical DR3 at Mallory Park and Donington Park. Steve has secured live work experience for motorsport students including a commission to re-build a hill-climb car, preparing it to race specification for the hill-climb and sprint circuits.

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Steve said, “The team is delighted to be recognised by the Santa Pod Racers Club with this award. Our close links with the Santa Pod Raceway help us to provide work experience for college students and some take part in industry placements working as marshals and track crew which they really enjoy. We are grateful to Santa Pod Raceway for its continued support and investment in future motorsport industry professionals.”

“Since it was launched two years ago, our motorsport courses have always been oversubscribed. The college offers qualifications in many aspects of automotive engineering including repair and refinishing, and hydrogen and electric vehicle technology at our MIRA Technology Institute campus.”

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of NWSLC said, “Congratulations to Steve and his team on their achievements. His experience and contacts enable our students to gain the best possible experience in this dynamic sector and set themselves up for exciting future careers.”

NWSLC is in the process of transforming its Nuneaton Campus to create a 21st century learning environment with work to remodel the engineering workshops on campus due to start next month.

For more information on the college’s automotive programmes, visit the www.nwslc.ac.uk.