‘F1 in Schools’ winner

A team of students from North Leamington School – Whittle Wonders – were jumping for joy yesterday after being crowned F1 in Schools UK National Champions 2014 and winning a place at the 2014 F1 in Schools World Finals in Abu Dhabi.

The UK Champions will not only have the experience of a lifetime in Abu Dhabi, they also receive tickets to the 2014 British GP at Silverstone, a Williams F1 team factory tour, an Arden Racing Academy presentation and the Codemasters F1 2013 game for each team member.

Whittle Wonders (L-R): Ryan McLaren, Tom Bradford, Thomas Govern, Harry Birch.

Whittle Wonders (L-R): Ryan McLaren, Tom Bradford, Thomas Govern, Harry Birch

It’s been many months of hard work for the team of 15 and 16 year olds, who not only took victory overall but also won the Portfolio Award and Fastest F1 Car Award with their car racing along the F1 in Schools 20 metres race track in a time of 1.128 seconds.

Led by Team Manager, Thomas Bradford, 15, with fellow students Harry Birch, 16, Testing Engineer; Ryan McLaren, 15, Manufacturing Engineer and Thomas Govern, 15, Design Engineer, the team were on a well-deserved high following the Awards presentation at the event held at the Big Bang Science and Engineering Fair in Birmingham.

The team were presented with the National Champions trophy by F1 in Schools Patron and Williams F1 Team Head of Vehicle Performance, Rob Smedley. After receiving the trophy Team Manager, Thomas Bradford, said:

“We’re really pleased to have won. I think we had the best car today. It was the fastest and well engineered. We’ve been working on the car for a year, designing, evaluating and refining it. It’s going to be brilliant to go to Abu Dhabi and now we’ll continue with the work on our car. We already have some ideas of how we want to improve it for the World Finals and hopefully it’ll be even faster as well.”

The 2014 F1 in Schools National Finals pitted 30 winning F1 in Schools Regional Finals teams against each other, all vying for a trip to Abu Dhabi. The competition, with Formula One at its heart, challenges teams of between three and six students to form a Formula One team, designing, manufacturing, testing and racing an innovative F1 in Schools car, as well as producing a pit display and printed portfolio, and giving a verbal presentation of their work to a panel of judges.

16 awards were presented, rewarding the hard work and high standards of work produced by the teams of students. Runners-up to Whittle Wonders was a team of students from Robert Mays School, Odiham called Colossus F1 and this team also won the Verbal Presentation Award. The third placed team was Infinity from St John Payne School, Chelmsford and they also won the Best Engineered Car Award. The Best Rookie Team Award was presented to newcomers, Venom, from Strode College, Street.

The Team Identity Award was won by Infusion Racing from LSA Technology and Performing Arts College and the Sponsorship and Marketing Award was presented to Symscape Quantum Racing from The Crypt School, Gloucester. Surge Racing from Latymer High School, Hammersmith took the Innovative Thinking Award and the Judges Discretionary Award went to Rapid Input from Dunfermline High School.

Whittle Wonders' winning race car.

Whittle Wonders’ winning race car

Red Dragon Racing from Connah’s Quay High School impressed the judges to win the Pit Display Award and the Research and Development Award was won by BCS Racing from Barry Comprehensive School. The FIA Women in Motorsport Award was given to the girls from Team Nero from Regent House Grammar School, Newtownards, Northern Ireland.

The exceptional support given to the students by their teachers was also recognised with the Teacher of the Year Award won by Gary Carleton, the tutor for Northern Ireland team, Ignition from Cookstown High School.

Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman, F1 in Schools summed up the F1 in Schools UK National Finals 2014 saying:

“We’ve enjoyed a very exciting National Finals this weekend. The level of work produced by the students is outstanding and is a credit to all the participants for the effort they put in to meeting the challenge presented by F1 in Schools. Our congratulations go to Whittle Wonders from North Leamington School. It is the third year of competition for the school and after improving each year, they have finally reaped the ultimate reward with a place at the National Finals and a trip to Abu Dhabi to represent the UK.”

The F1 in Schools UK National Finals 2014 took place with the support of The Institution of Engineering and Technology, Autodesk, Silverstone Circuit, Jaguar Land Rover, WNT, City University London, Tomorrow’s Engineers, FOM, Young Engineers, FIA Women in Motorsport, Edge Foundation and The College of Teachers.

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