Three 17-year-old students from Sprowston Community High School have been missing out on holidays, half term break and leisure time for the past few months, as they prepare for the biggest challenge of their lives, competing at the F1 in Schools World Finals 2013 in Austin, Texas from 8th to 14th November this year.
Ryan Clabon, Tom Carver and Will Mulhall are the brains behind Red Set Racing, one of the 38 teams who will by vying for a very special prize of Automotive and Motorsport Engineering university scholarships to City University London and the prestige of lifting the Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy in this Formula 1™ linked global educational challenge.
Red Set Racing Team Manager, Ryan, says, “We’ve faced a number of challenges over the last six months to get to this stage. Primarily the biggest hurdle was that of the new 2014 F1 in Schools competition regulations. Since becoming UK National Champions in March, F1 in Schools have released a new set of regulations which effectively meant a complete redesign of what was a very fast car. Although we were very pleased with our original design and how it performed at the National Finals, we welcomed the challenge of a complete redesign”.
Tom Carver, Chief Engineer for the team adds, “We cut the rules pretty close to get the fastest car at the UK Nationals, so I have had to completely change my wheel and axle designs to ensure we don’t fall foul of the judges at the World Finals.”
The team’s new car, the RSV5, incorporates the latest motorsport materials such as titanium and carbon fibre composites, as well as using 3D rapid prototyping to test parts before committing time to the manufacture of mould tools etc.
Graham Parker the lead teacher for the team says, “I am fantastically proud of what the lads have achieved, they have worked so hard, not only to raise the funding and create what is essentially, an industrial quality exhibition, but most impressively they have also lobbied the Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable along the way; getting his department to support the F1 in Schools initiative. They are a real credit to the school and an example to young adults around the country that you get out of life what you are prepared to put in, marvellous stuff.”
Mr Wavell, the team’s main mentor, has been working hard alongside Ryan Clabon manufacturing a travel system which will not only safely store and transport the equipment needed in Texas, but also double-up as part of the pit display.
Ryan explains, “We got our inspiration at the British Grand Prix when we visited Ferrari Scuderia’s mobile HQ and we thought, hey, we should aim to create something along similar lines.”
The F1 in Schools World Finals take place from 8th to 14th November in Austin, Texas. Each team of between three and six students brings together their work to present to a judging panel with a verbal and written presentation to support their model car, which is raced on a specially designed test track. At the World Finals each team will bring along a pit display, three identical cars and portfolio, as well as having prepared a 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 is yet to be broken by any student team since it was set by Team FUGA from Northern Ireland at the 2007 World Finals at 1.020 seconds.
Teams will arrive in Austin later this week ahead of the Formula 1™ event, with a welcome lunch following a tour of the Texas State Capitol, not only the home of the state government of Texas, but also a USA historic landmark billed as the seventh largest building in the world. The competition then starts in earnest with the teams building their pit displays before three days of judging which will lead to an Awards Celebration and the crowning of the new F1 in Schools World Champions.
After all their hard work the teams will be treated to a visit to the Circuit of The Americas and a pit lane walk on Thursday of Grand Prix week and can then stay on to watch the spectacle of the 2013 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX as guests of the Circuit of The Americas.
The F1 in Schools World Finals take place with the assistance of a host of sponsors and supporters including Circuit of The Americas, The Institution of Engineering and Technology, City University London, Autodesk and Austin Independent Schools District.
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