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British team wins F1 in Schools competition 20 Mar 2008

Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) F1 Supremo with F1 in Schools winners and Andrew Denford (GBR) F1 In Schools (Right). Malaysian Grand Prix, Rd 2, Qualifying Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Saturday 22 March 2008. World © Moy/Sutton Team Pulse, 2008 F1 in Schools world champions. © F1 in Schools

Team Pulse, from Devonport High School for Boys in Plymouth, have been crowned F1 in Schools world champions at the 2008 World Finals, which were held in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, ahead of this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

F1 in Schools is a unique challenge which tasks school children, aged 11 to 18, to use CAD/CAM software to design, analyse, manufacture, test and race their miniature Formula One car made from balsa wood and powered by CO2 cylinders.

After 12 months of intense competition from over seven million students worldwide, Team Pulse battled their way through regional and national finals to reach this week’s world championships.

Having arrived in Kuala Lumpur, John Ware, 16, Samuel Wood, 15, Andrew Lees, 16, and Thomas Simpson, 17, then fought off competition from 24 teams from 15 countries to claim the coveted Bernie Ecclestone World Championship Trophy and win BEng Automotive and Motor Sport Engineering scholarships at City University London.

Team Pulse’s miniature Formula One car recorded the fastest time of the world championships, a run of 1.064 seconds, and with the four British students also clinching victory in the knockout challenge on Thursday morning, they scooped the title.

“We are still in shock,” said the team’s graphic designer Thomas Simpson, “It took two years to develop the car so I’m really pleased that all those hours of work paid off. To have won the fastest car award is just icing on the cake.”

Second and third places on the podium were locked out by teams from Australia, with Goshawk from the Trinity Christian School, ACT, taking second as well, as the best-engineered car award. Australian national champions Impulse F1 from Barker College, New South Wales, meanwhile, took third spot.

As world champions, Team Pulse will attend this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit and enjoy access to the Formula One paddock where they will be able to rub shoulders with the likes of McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Renault’s Fernando Alonso.