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F1 in Schools to wow Malaysia in 2008 05 Nov 2007

(From left to right): Dato Sri Hishammuddin Hussein, Minister of Education Malaysia, Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman, F1 in Schools, Data'Hj Abd Halim Bin Hj Abdul Samad, Organising Chairman F1 in Schools Sdn Bhd and Dato' Hajjah Noorezan Bt Bapoo Hashim, Deputy Director General MOE. © F1 in Schools

Next season’s F1 in Schools world championships will be held in Malaysia, it has been announced. The event, which sees schoolchildren, aged 11 to 18, use CAD/CAM software to design, build and test a model CO2-powered balsa wood Formula One car of the future, will be held in March 2008, the week before the Malaysian Grand Prix.

“We are honoured that F1 in Schools has chosen Malaysia as the host of the world finals,” said Dato Sri Hishammuddin Hussein, the Malaysian minister for education. “Malaysia is a growing motorsport nation, and we hope that having such a high profile, youth orientated, motorsport event in Malaysia, alongside our Grand Prix weekend will generate widespread interest both locally and in other Asian countries and showcase the educational and ICT initiatives we are developing within our country.”

Up to seven million schoolchildren from 26 countries participate in the annual competition. These are then whittled down in regional selections until one team is chosen to represent each member country at the finals. Having made it that far, those attending then battle it out to win the coveted Bernie Ecclestone world championship trophy and an automotive engineering scholarship at London’s The City University.

Last year’s event, held in Melbourne ahead of the Australian race, was won by Northern Irish squad Team Fuga, who set a new world speed record of 1.020 seconds down the 20-metre race track, at a scale speed of over 220 miles per hour. A team from Malaysia, Mercurial Ace, finished the competition in third behind second-placed Scottish squad, Team Lightning.

“The F1 in Schools World Championship was an amazing success last year in Australia, and has since spread globally to over 26 countries,” explained F1 in Schools founder Andrew Denford. “Malaysia is the first country to adopt F1 in Schools into the national curriculum and new initiatives in teaching and learning. Next year at our annual event in Malaysia we hope for an even greater level of competition between the teams. F1 in Schools continues to be a great way of encouraging young people to enjoy engineering and design.”

The world championship will take place at the Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel in Kuala Lumpur from March 18-20, 2008. After they have finished competing, all participants have been invited to attend the Grand Prix to brush shoulders with both drivers and senior engineers before seeing full-size Formula One cars hit the track.