Latvian High School Students team up to compete at Folkrace


Since September 2022, The Latvian Automobile Federation (LAF) has spearheaded an inspirational project at Ropazi High School in Latvia. Tapping into the need to engage children in STEM subjects in a fun and practical way, this workshop class focuses on motor sport and asks students to prepare a car for Folkrace amateur autocross, as well as then participate in a real race. 

Targeted at 8th–12th grade students who are at least 14 years old, the motor sport class was tasked with preparing a Folkrace car for the first stage of the Summer Cup in April 2023. However, their enthusiasm meant that the car, a Folkrace VW Jetta, made its first practice run in December. 

The class is the brainchild of Viesturs Saukans, member of LAF Cross Commission and a teacher at Ropazi High School, who together with the support of the school director devised this unique learning experience. 

Students are supported by the Ropazi district motor sport community, with experienced athletes fundraising and providing space to build the car, as well as donating tools and free time to help prepare and train the drivers. 

The project is comprised of nine students, including three girls, with the emphasis on everyone being an equal member of the team – the potential race driver is not a bigger star than the mechanic, window washer, or social media content creator. 

Following the first test run, the progress of the class was obvious, with steering, slip control, and understanding of trajectories coming quickly and convincingly. There is currently no doubt that the squad will be competitive in their first motor sport race.

The class reflected the increasing interest of young people in both technical and practical activities, allowing them to get to know motor sport as a field in which they can not only participate, but also find future career opportunities. 

This project certainly serves as a great example and we are confident that other schools in Latvia will follow with their own motor sport classes.