The Koni Kats team from St. David's Secondary School inGreystones, County Wicklow took the top honours at the fifth Formula One in Schools Technology Challenge World Championships held this week in London. At a glittering awards ceremony attended by Lewis Hamilton and VIP guests from the world of Formula One and education, the talented students were presented with the Bernie Ecclestone World Championship Trophy and coveted Automotive and Motorsport Engineering scholarships to City University London. They will also be given an exclusive tour of the McLaren Technology Centre tomorrow.


Thirty one teams from 20 countries were vying for the Champions title, with the Koni Kats team showing their design, development, engineering and presentation skills, as well as excellent team work, to lift the Bernie Ecclestone trophy and beat their international rivals. The team also captured two other awards, taking the awards for Best Presentation and Best Engineered car en route to their championship title. The Koni Kats team comprising Conor Daly, Eoin O'Connell, Sean Cleary and Adam Gammell were thrilled to take victory.


Eoin O'Connell, Team Manager for the Koni Kats, said of their victory, “We're over the moon. We've been working for two years on this, so we are thrilled to have all our efforts recognised with this achievement. It's very special to have won this, we just can't believe it. I think the work we put into our design and our attention to detail in this, looking at every element from the front wing to the rear fins, has brought us this victory, as well as our strong teamwork.”


Current F1 champion, Lewis Hamilton presented Koni Kats with the Best Engineered car award, which was supported by his F1 team, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. Hamilton praised the Irish team for their high level of engineering, which has set new standards for the F1 in Schools Challenge.


Lewis said of his visit to the F1 in Schools World Championships, “I've really enjoyed meeting the students and finding out more about this exciting global initiative. The global popularity and high tech world of Formula One provides a very exciting and engaging platform for education and it is great to see it being used within schools to enthuse students to study engineering, as well as the other key school subjects. I hope F1 in Schools encourages a new generation of students into Formula One and helps to continue to develop the sport as one of the most technologically advanced in the world.”


This unique student challenge is the largest global educational initiative. The students use CAD/CAM software to design, build and test a model compressed air-powered balsa wood F1 car of the future and it takes place in over 30 countries around the world, with an estimated 14 million school children aware of this engineering challenge.


Andrew Denford, Founder, F1 in Schools, says of the World Championships, “The fifth annual F1 in School World Championships has been a great success. Each year we see the standards of entrants' rise, with the students using some very advanced engineering technology and amazing ingenuity to produce their racing cars. 


“The popularity of Formula One is a significant factor in the appeal of the F1 in Schools programme. Many of the students are avid supporters of the sport, so they felt very privileged to meet Lewis Hamilton and we are very grateful for the time he gave to them today, looking at their cars and learning more about this initiative.”


The Fastest car award, supported by Brawn GP, was won by 'Redline Racing' from Trinity Christian School, Canberra, Australia who clocked a time of 1.055 seconds in the time trials.


A number of other student teams were rewarded with beautiful trophies in various award categories.  The other award winners were:


Blueforce, SPS SE, Czech Republic, winner of Best Newcomer Award, presented by Tim Byles from the Transformation Trust


Koni Kats St David's Secondary School, Ireland winner of Best Verbal Presentation Award, presented by Sam Michael for AT&T Williams F1


AC Racing (collaboration team) Australia and Canada, winner of Best Team Portfolio Award, presented by Ian Burrows for F1 Racing


Biohazard from Menai High School, Sydney, Australia winner of Best Pit Display Award, presented by Steve Nevey on behalf of Scuderia Toro Rosso


Team Racere Nanyang Girls High School, Singapore, winner of Outstanding Sportsmanship Award, presented by Dominic Harlow for Force India F1 Team


Velocity from St John Payne School in England, winner of Best Sponsorship & Marketing Award, presented by Jon Williams for Toyota F1 Team


Synergy (collaborationteam) England and Malaysia, winner of Best Team Identity Award, presented by Americo Silva (Shell) on behalf of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro F1


BETAGREEN Gymnasium Grootmoor, Germany, winner of Innovative Thinking Award presented by current 2008 World Champion Andrew Lees (Pulse) on behalf of ING Renault F1


GENAS Ulsan Information Communication, South Korea,winner of Perseverance Award, presented by Christian Horner for Red Bull Racing F1


AC Racing (collaboration team) Australia and Canada winner of Best Collaboration Team Award, presented by Keith Perry for the Daily Telegraph


Redline Racing, Trinity Christian School, Canberra Sydney, winner of Fastest Car Award, presented by Sam Wood (Pulse) for Brawn GP


Koni Kats St David's Secondary School, Ireland winner of Best Engineered Car, presented by Lewis Hamilton for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes


AC Racing (Collaboration team) Australia and Canada winner of Third place, presented by Chris Earnshaw for The IET


Redline Racing Christian School, Canberra Sydney winner of Second place, presented by Vernon Coaker, (Minister of State for Schools and Learners) for the DCSF


Koni Kats from St David's Secondary School, Ireland winner of F1 in Schools 2009 World Champions, presented by Lewis Hamilton, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes


Irish team snatch victory in prestigious student challenge. The Koni Kats team from David’s Secondary School in Greystones, County Wicklow took the top honours at the fifth Formula One in Schools Technology Challenge World Championships held this...

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