ESSEX STUDENT TEAM TAKES VICTORY IN FORMULA ONE CHALLENGE NATIONAL FINALS
11 January 2009.../Six budding Formula One engineers showed that they have the X Factor today. Team Velocity School student team, from St John Payne Catholic Comprehensive School in Essex designed, created and raced to victory in the National Finals of the Formula One in Schools Technology Challenge held at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham this weekend. The National Champions were ecstatic with their achievement after several months of dedication to producing a winning car paid off for the students. Team Velocity have worked tirelessly for the last six months, perfecting the design of their scale model Formula One car and beating over 200 teams from around the country to lift the F1 in Schools National title.
They will now go forward to the World Championship event next year, with the prospect of racing for the prestigious Bernie Ecclestone trophy and coveted scholarships to City University, London. Their victory, as well as securing them their chance to represent Britain, also won the team members a trip to the 2009 British Grand Prix and a fast track to a work experience placement at Williams Formula One team, with one lucky student guaranteed this highly sought after opportunity. Team Velocity consisted of David Nicholls, Patrick Delaney, Hannah Griggs, Ronald Lee, Gemma Morris and William O'Donnell.
David Nicholls Team Manager, Team Velocity, said of winning, "It feels absolutely amazing to have won as Overall Winners, we really didn't think we would win to be honest, so that makes it even more amazing. I have an A-Level exam at nine in the morning and we've put all of this together during our busiest exam period and university applications, so it's a testament to our team work that we've managed to pull it all together for the National Finals and win.
"We have learnt so much about working as a team, taking on our individual job role and then coming together as a team to make our ideas work, we have a great team unity here at Team Velocity. We're really excited about the World Championships, we'll work on our car to make it quicker and do anything we can to step it up a notch to increase our chances of winning. The World Championships are being held in the UK, so it would be brilliant to have a UK World Championship winning team."
Chairman and Founder of F1 in Schools, Andrew Denford said of this year's National Finals, "The future of Formula One should be in safe hands if the standard achieved by our winners in particular, and all our entrants, is an indicator of prospective British engineering talent. With the support of the Formula One industry, F1 in Schools has captured the imagination of thousands of school children, not only in the UK but around the globe as well. We're delighted that F1 in Schools is providing schools and students with an innovative, engaging and rewarding programme that encourages independent thinking, team work, and engineering learning. The success of our event today proves that it is highly relevant and is a valuable stepping stone for a future career in engineering, and maybe, Formula One."
The F1 in Schools competition challenges students to design, construct and race a scale Formula 1 car, made from a block of balsa wood and powered by a compressed gas canister. The cars race on a 20 metre track, 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 at the 2007 World Championships.