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Apprentice Caterham Project – Race Day


This week our apprentice teams finally got to enjoy the fruits of their labour over the past 3 months as they took to the track in their recently completed Caterham 7 Kit Car.

Accompanied by Bri-Stor Group Directors, Project manager Ian Buckley, Apprentice Manager William Davies-Hill and even a couple of Pro Race Drivers, the young teams spent the day at Donnington race track. As well as the Caterham, the team were also treated to fast laps from the pro drivers in a Clio Cup race car and Audi R8 LMS track car.

The event was organised as a finale to the 12 week Caterham project in which apprentices from across the Bri-Stor Group spent one day a week building the kit car.  

Joshua Crisp, Bri-Stor Systems Apprentice said of the day:

“I Had Such an amazing experience at Donnington park with all the apprentices and managers from Bri-Stor Systems. Thrilled to have had an opportunity to go out in the Audi R8 LMS. Special thanks to Martin Smith”


Brain-child of Group Director Martin Smith, the Caterham project was conceived as a way of first year engineering apprentices across the group developing their skills in an engaging and interesting way. Thanks to the success of this first Caterham project, the scheme looks set to be extended and may become a permanent feature of the Bri-Stor Group Apprenticeship programme.

Martin Smith commented:

“The lads did a brilliant job of the build and today was about giving them something to remember, as reward for the way they went about the project. The teams were so enthusiastic about the whole project throughout and end result was fantastic.

Planning is already underway for the next Caterham project ahead of the next intake of fresh apprentices.

Apprentice 2

About an Alpha Apprenticeship

Studying towards an NVQ in Performing Engineering Operations, students will gain a basic understanding of engineering principles in such areas as CNC laser and punching, CNC press brakes, bench fitting, welding and fabrication.

During the first 6 months of the level 2 apprenticeship, students will be studying full time at the JCB academy. The following 6 months will be spent working 4 days per week at Alpha manufacturing with one day at the JCB academy.

Apprentice Caterham Build: Week 10

Caterham Pose

She lives! This week saw the moment the apprentice team have been waiting for, as they finally fired up the car. After a dry turnover trial and check on all fluids, the Caterham was dropped to the floor from its jacks and started for the very first time.

Once running, the team did a check of all electricals, lights, brakes and radiator fan before taking the car out of the workshop for the first time and around the Bri-Stor Group compound. This flagged up some minor issues such as tracking and a minor anti-freeze leak.

The team will now jack it back up and spend the rest of the day correcting these minor faults. Next week the car will undergo its IVA testing where the quality of the apprentices' work will be scrutinised before the car is declared road legal.

Caterham Banner

Apprentice Caterham Build: Week 9

Caterham Build Web Header

A dramatic transformation this week as the apprentices’ Caterham gets a shiny new wrap from our good friends at Hex Signs & Graphics. 

Caterham Web body

Having fitted some final body parts such as mud guards, arches and roll cage, the car was ready for its new look and with a little expert help, it now looks every bit the track day car.

The Apprentices are now in the final stages of the build with only minor electricals, fluids and some slight tweaks to make before the big moment they turn the engine over for the first time!

Caterham Web body 2


Apprentice Caterham Build: Week 8

This week was about finer details for the apprentice team as they tackled the intricate electrics; wiring in the lights, indicators and other electrical components.


After completed the electrical installations they spent the afternoon adjusting the handbrake, oiling the engine and bleeding the brakes.


Ian Buckley, Project Manager said "We're into the nitty gritty of the build now as all the major mechanical work is pretty much done. The lads are at the stage of tweaking and making the car road ready. I'd say they're only a few weeks from completion now and are beginning to get excited about finishing the project. "

Apprentice Caterham Build: Week 7

Week 7

A productive week this week as the young apprentice team focused on the rear of the car, fitting the differential, assembled and fitted the suspension, mounted the rear axle and fitted the handbrake.

Now about 2/3 of the way the way through the build, the team are beginning to talk about the final stages of the project; imagining firing up the engine discussing potential paint finishes.

Week 7 Banner

A week of finer details next week as the team work mostly on electrical wiring and smaller mechanical components.

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