F1 in Schools™ 2012 World Finals - team profiles 29 Oct 2012
The eighth F1 in Schools™ World Finals take place in Abu Dhabi from October 29-31, in the build-up to the 2012 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with over 250 students from around the world expected to attend after winning the National Finals in their home countries. The educational initiative sees students use CAD/CAM software to design, build and test a balsawood model F1 car of the future, powered by compressed air, and we are bringing you profiles of the teams involved
UAE - Safire Racing
Safire Racing from the German International School, Dubai, was founded in 2011 and at the beginning of 2012 the team structure was modified with new team members. The team is fortunate to be sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Dubai, who introduced the team to Nico Rosberg soon after he had won the Chinese Grand Prix. The team were delighted with Nicos interest in their project. The team say that they have some stunning new innovations.
UAE/Germany - Synergy
The team is known as Synergy. The UAE side started off as Team Neutrino from Dubai College. They won their school event and placed third at the UAE Nationals. Fortunately they still managed to get through to the World Finals with an invitation to form a collaboration team with the third place team Zephyr from Germany. Zephyr has been in the competition for four years and Neutrino is a rookie team. As their name shows, they've now come together as Synergy and are extremely excited for the World Finals. They team say that they are surprised at how well they are all getting on, so their teamwork is really strong. They think they are extra lucky as they have both the home advantage and the excellent German engineering skills. But mostly, they say, it is their vibrant personality that makes them unique, with all the charm for the judges.
Australia - Team Spectra
Team Spectra are a collaboration team which operates on a unique basis; both teams are from the same state in Australia yet are still challenged by the distance and the differences that exist between both schools. They say, Our diversity of members and their different strengths that all draw into our final product is what the name Spectra represents and also makes up who we are and what we believe in as a team.
South Africa - Flatline
Team Flatline was established February 2012. They are the first team established in Fourways High School. They call themselves Flatline as they reckon they are the team that will leave the competition dead in their tracks. There is also a pulse before a Flatline and this is represented in our team as we are full of life, enthusiasm, positivity and fun. At the National Finals, Team Flatline were awarded the all-round best team, best designed car, fastest car and fastest reaction speed. With these achievements, Flatline are honoured to be representing South Africa and Fourways High at the finals this year.
South Africa - Accelero
Accelero is a collaboration of students from three schools in Pretoria. With two girls and three boys, the team won the National Finals this year. The distance between the schools has been an additional challenge, with social media becoming an essential tool for them.
Singapore - AeroPhoenix
AeroPhoenix was founded in 2011. It originally consisted of an all-male, six-person group, but has recently been changed to a three male-one female team. AeroPhoenix were the champions of F1 in Schools Singapore. They achieved the fastest time in Singapore's F1 in Schools history with a mark of 1.077s. Up until now they have been working hard on new innovations, hoping to finally show the World Finals that Singapore is not a country to ignore. They hope that they can have a fun time with the other teams in Abu Dhabi and make their country proud.
Scotland - Aeroflux 2.0
Aeroflux 2.0 from Aberdeen Grammar School are a team of six boys. They watched a presentation from a previous team and decided to take up the challenge in October last year. With limited resources, their perseverance and dedication paid off with success at national level. The team have been pioneering in going it alone without the leadership of teachers or parents, and they believe that this approach has been even more rewarding.
Austria - Red Cheetah
The Red Cheetah, an all-girl team from BG/BRG Judenburg School with four students aged between 16 and 17 years, will represent Austria for the first time at the F1 in Schools World Finals. The team was only formed in October 2011, so it is a great achievement for them to reach international F1 in Schools level. Williams F1 development driver and DTM driver Susie Wolff has become a mentor for the team. She has also auctioned a pair of personally autographed racing shoes with the proceeds of the initiative helping the team to fund their upcoming trip to the World Finals. She says: "When the girls approached me with their project I was immediately impressed and wanted to support them, not only in my role as ambassador of FIA Women in Motorsport, but also because they are four girls from Austria that have done incredibly well to reach the finals. I aim to help them as much as I can on their journey to Abu Dhabi.
Mexico - Chilango Racing Team
Mexico will be represented at the F1 in Schools World Finals for the first time with the Chilango Racing Team, three boys who formed the team early this year. Xavier Lebrija, Team Manager, Chilango Racing Team, says: This is a privilege and an honour. We were accepted at the last minute and weve had to prepare with very short notice. We are all very excited about our first participation in this competition and meeting with so much talent from around the world. We are also very happy to represent Mexico for the very first time.
Malaysia - Aeromach
Aeromach was established in January 2011. The team says it is driven by passion and that this is the secret of the all-boys Malaysian teams success so far. During their Regional Finals, Aeromach were awarded the Best Portfolio Award, Best Engineered Car, Innovative Thinking Award and were the first runner-up. During the National Finals, they won the Fastest Car Award (1.075s) and were knockout champions and first runner-up. With these brilliant achievements, Aeromach are honoured to represent Malaysia in the F1 in Schools World Finals and this will be the second time in a row that the school - Sekolah Menengah Sains Hulu Selangor - will represent their country. The team have been living together - literally - for almost five years as their school is a boarding school and they say that their team bond is as solid as a rock. They will be having their biggest exam this year on November 5, just two days after the World Finals.
Kenya - PTK02 - Duma Racing
Kenya is represented by PTK02 - Duma Racing from St Andrew's Turi School. The first steps for Kenya were taken last year with the first participation at the World Finals as part of a collaboration team. Since then, three members of the 2011 squad have taken the lead in this year's team with three more members from Kenya joining. Much more thought has been put into research with a particular focus on looking for innovative ways to increase speed in their 2012 challenger. They say that more work has also gone into looking for sponsors and improving the look of the pit display. The team recount a very funny moment in their journey, when in a marketing meeting with a sponsor, Creativedge, their teacher suggested a way to present the main content of the pit display and we completely disagreed. The teacher asked the marketing expert what he thought and he said, "Actually, I think the kids are right." They all fell about laughing as the teacher sat down sulking about it.
Germany - Aero GP
Aero GP was founded in March 2011 consisting of three boys and one girl, all aged 16 to 17 years. In February they became vice champions at the regional finals in Hamburg. After this success they prepared their car for the National Finals, which they won in May 2012 as well as the prizes for the best pit display, best portfolio and the knock-out race.
Now they are looking forward to the World Finals in Abu Dhabi. The team think that they have the special mixture between hard work, fun and just enjoying this unique experience, so every second participating is a great pleasure for them and they never want to miss this competition and the experiences that come along with it.
England - Rush
Rush, a team of six from Robert Mays School, will be heading to Abu Dhabi. Some of Rush have competed before, with one member reaching the World Finals in Malaysia, and two members reaching the Nationals in 2008 and having the fastest car. One member competed in a very strong team two years running. Two members are new to the F1 in Schools experience; they are doing well and loving every minute of it. Overall as a team they won the Regional Final and after a great couple of days at the National Final they will now be representing England at the World Finals in Abu Dhabi. Look out for the team dance which has been recorded and put into a presentation along with some other funny team memories.
Canada - BobCAD Blazing Arrow
BobCAD Blazing Arrow, originally Blazing Arrow, began its journey in the F1 in Schools Challenge in January 2012. The official collaboration took place in January but certain members, such as Eeshmam Munir, had already competed in the challenge for three years while others were rookies or had one years experience on their resume. After their hard work and dedication, along with a free-food incentive, they managed to place first in the Nationals and also stole the Fastest Car Award, Marketing Award, and the Best Collaboration Team Award. From that point on, the team lost its graphic designer, Melanie Yung, and received a marketing and finance manager, Karn Jariwala. After exhibiting exceptional skills in the Nationals, the team re-collaborated with BobCAD-CAM and appeared on Yahoo News and in the Toronto Star. They say that they are unique as they are one of the very few teams with highly experienced members.
Australia/Germany - Rapid Motion
Rapid Motion is a collaboration team of Rapid Racing from Australia and Motion Blur from Germany. The 2011/12 season was the first for Rapid Racing and at the National finals they won the Innovation, Collaboration, Marketing and Development Class Champions' Awards. Motion Blur was founded in 2010 and participated at the State finals in 2011. At this stage, they won the Best Team Presentation award and placed fifth overall. In the 2011/12 season, Motion Blur returned to the State finals with more knowledge and a determination to win, and were placed second overall at the National Finals in Germany.
Rapid Motion says that they combine two of the strongest countries that participate at the World Finals and the team uses innovation and uniqueness to beat their opponents. Even though there is a large distance between the two countries, they have worked together to come up with new and effective ideas that will give them an edge over the competition.
United Kingdom - Team Ignite
Team Ignite, originally a team of five, are now three team members who will be competing in Abu Dhabi. They stunned the opposition at the regional and national levels in the UK, with a very impressive and innovative pit display. The team says that for the World Finals they will be taking this a step further, with more improvements and a new look for their car too.
Wales - Motion Racing
Motion Racing, the team from Ygol Dewi Sant, Monmouth Comprehensive won the Chairmans Award at the UK National Finals to earn themselves a wildcard place at the World Finals.
Motion Racing was formed in November 2010 and competed in the south Wales regional heats where they had the second-fastest car, won second place overall and won Best Team Identity. In 2012 they had great results, winning best team identity (the Chairmans Award) and having the second-fastest car at the Nationals.
Ireland/Singapore - Aptus Racing
The team is a collaboration of Elite Racing from Presentation College, Carlow, Ireland and Team XLR8 from River Valley High School, Singapore. Elite progressed from their regional finals with Fastest R-Type car to make it to the National Finals. There they picked up Best Engineered Car and second place overall, as well as being invited to take part in the World Finals as part of a collaboration team. XLR8 progressed to their National Finals, picking up Best Engineered Car, Fastest Car and Overall Champion in the Bloodhound Class, making them eligible to compete as part of a collaboration team in this years World Finals.
The team says that although there is a huge distance between the team members, they have a very close friendship. They dont work with hierarchy involved, they work as a team because that's how they communicate, which is as friends.
Aptus Racing has developed a motto for the team, Strength through unity: very apt words for a collaboration between students from two countries over 7,000 miles (11,200 kilometres) apart.
Portugal - Legacy
The team is representing UNIVERSIDADE LUSIADA, Braga, with three guys, all aged between 18 and 19 years who are students of electronics.
The team chose the name Legacy (legatus in Latin) as this was a general in the Roman army who overcame all obstacles and was always superior to his opposition, so the team uses the term legatus to show their desire to be superior in all tests.
The students say that they are a dynamic team standing for innovation and creativity. The boys have shown strong resilience on their path to the World Finals, with one team member dropping out along the way and two failed attempts at forming collaborative teams, as well as fighting the economic crisis and a struggle to find the financial support needed to reach the World Finals.
The team look back on the first car they created and laughingly say that it was like a hovercraft.
Portugal - Monster Team
From Escola Cooperativa de ensino Vale S. Cosme (DIDAXIS), Braga, Portugal, this team is just three guys. They competed at three National Finals events before achieving their first goal of becoming National Champions. They also won the Best Engineered Car and the Marketing and Sponsorship Awards.
The team is not only skilled at creating an F1 racing car, they also have a prospective Grand Prix driver among them. Ricardo Costa is a race-winning karter and rallycross driver who is aiming to reach Formula One racing.
Greece - Ground Force Project
Ground Force Project, a team from Avgoulea-Linardatos School, in Peristeri, Attiki, were the National Champions of the very first Greece F1 in Schools National Finals.
The team was formed back in May 2011 by six 17-years old students, although only two of the original members - Akis Gkirgkis and Jason Grigoropoulos - remain, with the others having to focus on their exams for university admission. Four new members then joined: Eleni Tsoukala, Konstantinos Krimitzas, Chris Nikolaou and Marios Paligiannis.
The pressure is on as the first team to represent their country at an F1 in Schools World Finals. The teams national success and their upcoming trip to Abu Dhabi for the World Finals has resulted in plenty of national and regional publicity, including an item on Alpha TV and a live interview with the national Greek TV channel, NET.
England/USA - Venator F1
Venator F1 is a collaboration between an English and an American F1 in Schools team, combining Vitesse from Devonport High School for Boys, England and Infinitum from Elizabethtown Area High School in the USA.
They are hoping to become the first collaboration team to win the World Finals and say they have a few tricks up their sleeve. They also claim to be F1 in Schools first and only eco-friendly team. They also expect to be the only team in the finals to use a low-drag coating and are committed to educating others about the project. The English team members are ambassadors in their school, running an internal competition that is 50 students strong.
Sadly the US team members are unable to travel to Abu Dhabi and will be represented by the three English team members at the World Finals. The US team will be able to watch via the dedicated web broadcasts produced by Webex for the event.
Malaysia - Panthera F1
Panthera F1, four boys from Penang Free School, is a team founded in early 2011. Despite lacking experience and expertise during the F1 in Schools Regional Finals, the team managed to bag most of the awards offered including Overall Champion, Best Team Sponsorship and Marketing, Best Team Portfolio and Knockout Competition Winners. They also took Fastest Car award after finishing the time trial competition in an outstanding 1.097 seconds.
During the F1 in Schools National Finals, the teams hard work, commitment and dedication proved fruitful when they were crowned the F1 in Schools Technology Challenge Overall Champion on the final day of the tournament. They also took the Best Research and Development Award as well as Best Engineered Car award.
The team is the first from the northern region of Malaysia to have won their F1 in Schools National Finals.
Canada/Korea - CanroK
CANROK is a collaboration team joining together The Plainsmen from Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School in Brandon, Canada and Sunrise from Konkuk University High School in Korea. The team was founded in 2012 to prepare for the World Finals and together became CanroK. In the beginning, differences in language and culture created opposing opinions on such things as the team name, team colours, and team logo. The students overcame these issues through negotiation and compromise. They learned to delegate different responsibilities across the distance, and learned to communicate despite the fourteen hour time difference.
Their magic moment? Meeting the other half of our team for the first time was a surreal experience for all of us. None of us knew what to expect going into that first meeting and that made the excitement tangible. We discovered many important factors in our collaboration that day. It was revealed very quickly that the language barrier would pose an issue and that translators would be necessary. Seeing our partners, with whom we would be working for almost a year, was a crucial moment in our teams unity, progress, and ultimately our success. It was truly magical.
And their funniest moment? Some of our funniest moments have taken place in communication with one another. It is safe to say relying purely on Google Translate is not the safest bet. There were always many meanings lost in translation, which made the information quite entertaining to read. Also, during school exam week one of the Korean members sent videos to one of Canadian members of him playing the piano, assuring her that it would calm her nerves. In return, she sent a video of herself playing the piano, so that he could hear her play too.
United Arab Emirates - BlackBird X
BlackBird X, a team from the Indian High School, Dubai, comprises five boys and one girl. Their journey began in December 2008 when their school was introduced to F1 in Schools with a presentation from the UAE F1 in Schools organisers. The team competed at the UAE National Finals in 2009, but they were not successful and resolved to improve their performance. Their efforts began in earnest and the team was rewarded with third place overall in 2010, missing out on a spot at the World Finals by just two points. This near miss gave them the impetus to continue with the team. The original team members joined forces with another team from the school, and together they have reached the 2012 World Finals.
The team say their secret to success is that they have been competing in F1 in Schools for four years and bring a unique mix of experience and enthusiasm. They have a lot to live up to as well, as a team from the school, Zer0.9, were second in the 2010 World Finals. The team also reckon they have a fast car, having recorded a time of 1.009 seconds last year.
Australia - Cold Fusion
Cold Fusion from Brighton Secondary School have a long-running history in Australian F1 in Schools. They first appeared in the national competition back in 2008, representing South Australia, and have been at every national competition since. They are the first team from South Australia to make it to the World Finals.
Since winning the Australian National Finals the team have been in numerous newspapers, congratulated in the National Senate, met Formula One legend Alan Jones, held a promotion evening for sponsors and given a talk to a DT Teachers Association.
Czech Republic - Blood Elites
The team of three boys and one girl is from Secondary Technical School, Kolin and was founded in 2008 with the arrival of F1 in Schools in the Czech Republic. Throughout the competition they tried to acquire new knowledge and experience, with the aim of making it through to the World Finals, which they have now succeeded in doing. The team believe that they excel in their positive approach to their work, particularly with the improvisational and innovative thinking that inspires other teams.
The teams efforts brought them not only a place at the World Finals, but also a day racing in an F1 simulator. This taught them how to drive an F1 car, as well as being great fun. The dedication of the team in their pursuit of winning was demonstrated at the Czech Republic semifinals, when they had forgotten the posters for their pit display. One of the team members returned to school to fetch them, despite a 600-kilometre round trip. After that the team reckon they wont be forgetting anything for Abu Dhabi!
Wales - Fast Lane
A team from Ysgol Friars School, Bangor, will represent Wales this year. With three boys and three girls, the team was formed in July 2010. They came second in the Bloodhound Class at the National Final in 2011 and this year, with two awards, won through to the World Finals.
The team are confident that they are one of the leaders in terms in engineering and innovation, and believe that their integrity, teamwork and performance make their team unique. They aim to be the first Welsh team crowned F1 in Schools World Champions.
The team has a marketing partnership with Gwion Prys, a talented young welsh motorcycle endurance rider, currently in training for the Dakar Rally 2014.
Jordan - Sabeg La7eg
The team from Jublilee School, Amman, was founded in 2010 and participated in the first F1 in Schools Jordan in 2011, when they took third place overall. However, they didn't qualify to participate in that years World Finals so they set themselves a goal to keep working hard. It all paid off in the 2012 competition when they secured first place and with it the right to represent Jordan in the World Finals in Abu Dhabi.
The team say that it has been a really exciting experience for them, through which they have learnt many new technical and engineering skills, and which has helped them improve their interpersonal skills in team work and management. Their participation in the Abu Dhabi World Finals marks the first time that Jordan has been represented.
Ireland - Team Quasar
Team Quasar are from St. Ailbes School in Tipperary, Ireland, a town probably best known for the song, Its a long way to Tipperary, which is 100 years old. Its so famous in fact, the town is staging a festival this year to mark its centenary!
Team members Sinead Cummins (Team Manager), Maeve OGorman (Marketing and Communications Manager), Gerard Barlow (Manufacturing Engineer), Megan Cleary (Resource Manager) and Deirbhle Hennessy (Graphic Designer) are working hard with their preparations to go to the World Finals.
They have even set up their own website, with a fundraising draw with tickets purchasable online and some superb prizes including a Football Association of Ireland Family Season Ticket and a two-night hotel break in Cork.
The team reckon theyll be strong opposition, citing the popular quote, Youll never beat the Irish, to back up their bold claim.
Bahrain - Team 7th Gear
Team 7th Gear comprises five boys from St Christophers School in Bahrain and with all five members being only 13 years-old, they are the youngest team at the World Finals. The team was formed in 2010, instigated by the Team Manager, Shawn Amirthan, and that year they took second place. They then went on to win their National Finals and earned a place at the World Finals.
The team recognizes that experience is key to success, so they have kept their line-up unchanged and consolidated their teamwork. They are looking to build on their success, learning from their mistakes and, with a little luck, hopefully triumphing. Their distinctive yellow and black uniforms ensure that this team wont be missed.
USA - Team Shift
The all-girl Team Shift has students from two schools, Wheeler High School and Campbell High School, both in Marietta, Georgia. They have already experienced an F1 in Schools World Finals, having been in a collaboration team last year with Carbon Racing from Germany. As with many teams, Kelly Fitzgerald, Anna Awald, Claire McCoy and Sabine Saldanha have been working on their project in their own time, after school in a garage.
As USA F1 in Schools National Champions, the team has been out and about showcasing their achievements and supporting their sponsors. One of these, Women in Technology, invited them to a business conference, where the team gave a speech, and presented them with a cheque for US$10,000 to help with their funds for the World Finals. Then, the crowd passed the hat and raised a further US$1,400.
For more information on F1 in Schools, see www.f1inschools.com.
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