The Successes and Failures of King Clam Motorsports


Efrem working diligently on the drag car.

Reilly P Dillon

Every year Mr. Gallant teaches Engineering Projects, a fun class where students build RC cars, machines to power them and more. Every year the class usually divides into two teams and they compete against each other and other schools that participate in the Ten80 education races. This year we had a dwindling number of students due to COVID-19 and bridge for seniors. As a result, we decided to combine as one team King Clam Motorsports. We then worked together as a class to complete our goal; winning the competition. 

The competition is made up of many different aspects such as team design, overall enterprise and of course the races itself. The final results are then based on a combined score of all parts of the project. Knowing this we prepared accordingly for everything. There were times where we got stagnant and should’ve worked harder, but we continuously worked towards winning the event. However, sadly it didn’t pay off. We ended up finishing near the top for enterprise but near the very bottom for racing, so we finished middle of the pack. 

Mr. Gallant was happy with the result but was somewhat surprised. I interviewed him after the final results were released and he believed that “we did better than expected”. He mentioned that “we usually do great in races”, but that wasn’t the case this year. Instead, we excelled in the enterprise getting a perfect score on the promotional video and near perfect score on graphic design and the rest of the section. This brought our score up significantly and saved us from falling to the very bottom because of our failures in racing. We had car issues during the race and didn’t prepare enough for the final race. We practiced driving in hallways and in the parking lot, but the final race was on the tennis courts. We also never looked at the track before our race. When I asked Mr Gallant how we could improve he said “we could’ve practiced on the actual track more” because this year the track was very difficult. He also commented that “if we don’t do well in racing, we won’t do well overall”.  This made me realize that we set ourselves up for failure by not practicing seriously enough for the race. Despite that, we still didn’t fail completely because we excelled in enterprise, but we would prefer to do better and Mr. Gallant plans to succeed next year. 

I also interviewed a junior on the team, Efrem Johanson.  He worked specifically on the drag car part of the project and it came out really good. He did have a fair amount of challenges, but he was able to overcome them by asking team members for help. He said that, “We worked really well as a team” and that “we were able to succeed because of it”. The one thing he wishes that he could change is how we managed our time. “We could’ve gotten a lot more practice in,” he said when I asked him why changing that was so crucial. After the final results came out, he felt that we definitely could’ve done better overall. Similarly to Mr. Gallant, he felt that “the race let us down” and was the reason for us coming up short in this year’s event. Efrem and Mr. Gallant had very similar thoughts about the final results which shows how well we worked together. We all know where we could’ve improved and what went wrong in the event. 

The team as a whole was proud of where we finished despite our placing in the end, the team knew we could’ve done better, but we still ended up doing better than expected. Next year they’ll only improve as they know where they need to be better.