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Alonso, Davidson lend support to F1 in Schools 06 Mar 2008

The F1 in schools winners.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, United States Grand Prix, Preparations, Indianapolis, USA, 29 June 2006 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R28 Formula One Testing, Day Two, Barcelona, Spain, 02 February 2008. World © Patching/Sutton Anthony Davidson (GBR) Super Aguri F1 SA07-5B Formula One Testing, Day Three, Jerez, Spain, 14 February 2008. World © Bumstead/Sutton Team FUGA from Northern Ireland receive the Bernie Ecclestone trophy from Mr Ecclestone along with Andrew Denford, founder and chairman of F1 in Schools at the World Championships, in Melbourne, March 2007. © F1 in Schools

There are just two weeks to go before the F1 in Schools competition is held in Malaysia and on Thursday Renault’s Fernando Alonso and Super Aguri’s Anthony Davidson joined the growing band of famous Formula One names to back the initiative.

“It's always good to do things that get young people interested in motorsport, especially on the technical side, and this competition is the ideal way to do that,” said two-time title holder Alonso. “It gives them an opportunity to learn about engineering and to see the challenges that you face in a competitive environment.”

The annual contest sees school children, aged 11 to 18, from all over the world use CAD/CAM software to design, analyse, manufacture, test and race their miniature F1 car made from balsa wood and powered by CO2 cylinders.

The world championships will take place in Kuala Lumpur in March, during the build up to the Malaysian Grand Prix. The 25 teams who have won a place in the finals will race their cars against each other along a 20-metre, two-lane track at a scale speed of over 220mph.

“I think F1 in Schools is a great idea, and a brilliant project for the pupils to be involved in,” added Davidson. “It encourages schools to see F1, and motorsports generally, as a serious career option, and gives the students the chance to get some vital experience and contacts.”

Patrons of the initiative include Honda’s team principal Ross Brawn, Red Bull’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey, Force India’s chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne, Renault’s engineering director Pat Symonds and Sam Michael Williams’ technical director.

The event will take place at Kuala Lumpur’s Sunway Lagoon Resort and Spa Hotel from March 18-20. The winning outfit will clinch the Bernie Ecclestone World Championship Trophy and BEng Automotive and Motor Sport Engineering scholarships at City University, London.