Model car that is! Four young engineers from WMG Academy, Coventry calling themselves Academy Racing recently won first place in the UK finals of the F1 in Schools competition and the honour of representing the UK at the World finals in Kuala Lumpur in October. 17 year old Eddie Hodierne, Team Manager for Academy Racing, led Elias Khimasia, 15, Callum Kennedy, 16 and Abi Hirons, 16 to Malaysia.

F1 in Schools is the world’s largest secondary school competition and involves over nine million students from 20,000 schools in 46 countries. In the world of student engineering it is as prestigious as it gets, for example the Australian government has been known to give $20,000 to support its national team, and various universities award scholarships to the world champions.

The competition is as challenging as it is prestigious and the students have to function as if they were a real F1 team with everything that entails, including designing and manufacturing the car, finding sponsors and managing the finances.

Marks are awarded based on a number of specific categories:

  • Specification. The car is designed using computer software according to a 30 page set of technical regulations and marks are deducted for any non-conformity.
  • Engineering. This focuses on the design aspects of the car, particularly the application of computer aided design and manufacture.
  • Portfolio & Pit Display. Each team of students is required to produce an enterprise portfolio, an engineering portfolio and a pit display. The portfolios are A3 size and contain information about the team. The pit display is similar to a trade stand and is a visual showcase for all their work
  • Verbal presentation. A 10 minute verbal presentation to deliver to a panel of judges, outlining the key elements of their project.
  • Marketing and Sponsorship. Teams are expected to generate their own funds, which involves developing a marketing strategy, creating a media presence and finding sponsors.
  • Racing. Teams race their cars against each other on a 20 metre track where they reach speeds in excess of 50 mph.

And whilst not winning overall the team from WMG Academy could be rightfully proud that their car was the fastest in the competition beating all others with a time of just 1.084 seconds, equal tenth in the fastest cars of all time!

Datatag MD kevin Howells said ‘The team did amazingly well and to have achieved such a professional presentation and job overall at such a young age is really inspiring. We were glad to have played even a small part in marking this happen and wish the team all the luck in their futures.’