TV soap star Kelvin Fletcher joined the University of Bolton team at the opening of one of the world’s biggest motorsport shows.

Kelvin, who races in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, took part in a racing car simulator challenge at the University’s Centre for Advanced Performance Engineering (CAPE) stand and posted the second best time of the day.

And Bolton’s golden boy Jason Kenny has also teamed up with the University of Bolton.

The three time Olympic champion will be at the Autosport International at the NEC Birmingham to showcase the university’s new state-of-the-art and first-of-its kind centre in the country to have an in-house racing team on a campus.

Olympic and world track cycling champion, Jason Kenny OBE, who also drives in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge Series, will be trying to beat the time set by Kelvin in the simulator challenge.

Kelvin, who plays Andy Sugden in Emmerdale, said: “The event is great — I may be a bit biased but Bolton definitely has the best stand. There is a real buzz about the university and the courses it is offering. There is a great atmosphere and it is great to be part of it.”

And visitors pitting their skills against Kelvin and Jason will be in with a chance of winning prizes including tuition fee discounts and a day trackside with RLR Msport, which is a partner in the centre.

CAPE students are also showcasing their learning on campus and on the track. A supercar — The Bolt, built by Bolton-based Keating Supercars — designed to break the land speed record is on show to potential owners. The Bolt will be aiming to beat the world production line vehicle land speed record — aiming for 340mph — later this year.

Tony Keating, chief officer of Keating Supercars and a University of Bolton graduate, is donating the first production line Bolt to CAPE.

Bolton Wanderers sponsors FibrLec, a sustainable energy firm working with the university, has taken a stand at the show. FibrLec’s new product has the potential to generate electricity from motion, making it a strong contender for the motor industry investment.

The three fastest times of would-be students will be rewarded with a discount on their course fees if they sign up on the public days at NEC this Saturday and Sunday.