Sweet success for UK champions
A team of six students from Robert May's School in Odiham, Hampshire, won the coveted Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy at the F1 in Schools World Finals 2014 on 19th November. As part of a package of prizes, they also won scholarships to study engineering at City University London and a VIP paddock tour at the 2014 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix courtesy of Yas Marina Circuit for the World Champions.
Team Colossus F1 (comprising Paul Cumner, Charles Flynn, Emma Baldry, Daniel Warnes, Rachael Matthews and Victoria Waterfield), representing England at the event in a field comprising 37 other competitors from 24 countries, set a new F1 in Schools world record with a time of 1.003 seconds. The team also won the Innovative Thinking Award, presented by Lotus F1 and the Autodesk Pressure Challenge Award, demonstrating their mastery of Autodesk 3D software - for designing and 3D rendering a Formula 1 helmet within two hours.
F1 in Schools aims to help change perceptions of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by creating a fun and exciting learning environment for young people to develop an informed view about careers in engineering, Formula One, Science, marketing and technology.
It challenges students to create their own Formula One team which is commissioned to design, construct and race the fastest miniature Formula One Car of the Future; a 21cm long scale model built from a block of balsa wood and powered by a compressed air cylinder.
Each team of between three and six students creates a 'pit' display and showcases their work in developing their race car. At the World Finals each team will bring along a pit display, their cars and portfolio, as well as having prepared a verbal presentation for the judges. The cars race on a 20 metre track, with the cars covering the distance in just over one second, a speed barrier which has yet to be broken.
City has been an early supporter of the F1 in Schools programme, providing generous scholarships for World Championship winners. City's aeronautical engineering wind tunnels have also been used for speed testing the model racing cars used by student teams including Colossus F1.
Team Principal of the City Racing Team, Roger Valsler, is delighted with the winning team:
"The success of Colossus F1 demonstrates the boundless creativity, hard work and determination of aspiring schoolchildren with a passion for motorsport and engineering. Having watched the development of this team over the past three years, I am indeed delighted with the excellent results they have achieved nationally and internationally. Key to the team's success was their water tunnel testing programme designed by myself and Dr Mike Freestone, a retired City aeronautical engineering academic. I am pleased to know that my frequent visits to Odiham to assist Colossus F1 has paid off with their spectacular victory. Hearty congratulations to them and I look forward to seeing them take up their engineering scholarships at City".
Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman of F1 in Schools, said:
"It has been another amazing World Finals event. We've had the most competitive event ever, with just a few points separating the top teams. There has also been plenty of high drama with tears of joy, frustration and disappointment along the way as the students prove just how passionate they are about F1 in Schools. Celebrating our tenth World Finals was a fitting occasion to see the F1 in Schools World Record broken, and Colossus F1 showed innovation in this as well as their unique R & D programme. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see these faces in the pitlane in the not too distant future."
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