Teams of students from Lutterworth College, Leicestershire; Neale-Wade Community College, March, Cambridgeshire, and Selly Park Technology College, Birmingham, triumphed in the Central England regional final of the 2009 F1 in Schools Formula One Technology Challenge held this week at the Design & Technology Show, NEC, Birmingham. With these wins all three teams have booked their places at the UK National finals of this global competition.

Mach 1 from Lutterworth College celebrated a trio of trophies, taking overall victory in the Formula 1 class, as well as taking awards for the Fastest F1 car(1.289 seconds) and Best Engineered car.  Also scooping three awards were Pressure Point from Neal-Wade Community College. They were the cream of the crop in the 11-14 years age category winning the Bloodhound SSC class, as well as taking the award for the fastest Bloodhound SSC car (0.859 seconds) and the Innovative Thinking Award . All-girl team, Drop Dead Gorgeous, from Selly Park Technology College won the Best Rookie class and the Best Team Identity Award

The UK National Finals will be held at Autosport International Show in January next year. Victory at this event will earn the winning team a place in the 2010 F1 in School World Championships which will be held at an international Formula One Grand Prix.

The competition challenges students to design, construct and race a race car of the future, made from a block of balsa wood, and powered by a compressed air canister. The car is raced over a 20 metre track and the fastest time is recorded. Aside from the on-track action, teams also produce supporting evidence of their design, develop a sponsorship and marketing campaign and produce team merchandise, with all these elements presented with their race car at the regional finals.

Other award winners were Piranhas, from Ibstock Community College who won Best Sponsorship & Marketing, while their sister team from the school, Ravens Racing, collected the award for Perseverance in the face of adversity.

The Challenge, in its ninth year, was introduced to the UK in 2000 and since this time has expanded to over 30 countries, with over 9 million students taking part around the globe. Bernie Ecclestone, President and CEO of Formula One Management gave his support to F1 in Schools by granting the challenge a world-wide protected trademark and a new logo in 2005. Since this time the initiative has built close links with teams and personalities within Formula One.

F1 in Schools is regarded by the Formula One fraternity as a platform for introducing Formula One to a global teen demographic. The student challenge is also helping Formula One shed its image as an elitist sport accessible only to multi-million pound budgets; on the contrary, F1 in Schools is open to any school with access to a simple computer.

The Central regional finals took place with the assistance of a host of sponsors and supporters. Amongst these are the IET, Corus, Denford, Jaguar, The City University, London and KHP Consulting all of whom are continuing their support of F1 in Schools for the coming year.


Full list of winners:

1st place, Formula 1 Class  Mach1, Lutterworth College
1st place, Bloodhound SSC Class Pressure Point, Neale-Wade Community College
Best Rookie Team   Drop Dead Gorgeous, Selly Park Technology College
Best Engineered Car   Mach1, Lutterworth College
Fastest Formula 1 Class car  Mach1, Lutterworth College (1.289 seconds)
Fastest Bloodhound SSC Class Pressure Point, Neale-Wade Community College (0.859 seconds)
Best Team Identity   Drop Dead Gorgeous, Selly Park Technology College
Innovative Thinking Award   Pressure Point, Neale-Wade Community College
Best Sponsorship & Marketing Piranhas, Ibstock Community College
Perseverance in the face of adversityRavens Racing, Ibstock Community college

Lutterworth College, Leicestershire; Neale-Wade Community College, March, Cambridgeshire, and Selly Park Technology College, Birmingham took the top honours in the Central England regional final

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