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Australia set new record at F1 in Schools World Finals

17 Oct 2016

The Australians took first spoils at the 12th F1 in Schools World Finals, which are being held in Austin this week ahead the 2016 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. Infinitude, a collaboration of 15- and 16-year-old students from Brighton Secondary School, Adelaide and St. Bede’s College, Melbourne, blitzed their rivals on Sunday, smashing last year’s world record with an impressive race time of 0.916 seconds.

The global, multi-disciplinary challenge sees teams of students aged 9 to 19 deploy CAD/CAM software to collaborate, design, analyse, manufacture, test, and then race miniature compressed air-powered balsa wood F1 cars.

The opening day of this year’s competition saw race times tumbling, with four teams going under a second. Australians Fast Payce were the first to challenge the world record of 0.977s - set by USA team, Union Racing International, last year - with 0.978s. Later in the day Infinite Racing from Greece were overjoyed when they broke it with a run of 0.942s. However, their jubilation was short-lived, as less than an hour later Infinitude blasted their car down the track for a new benchmark.

“We hoped to break the record, but certainly didn’t expect to do it by that much,” said 16-year-old Nicole Kascak, Team Manager of Infinitude. “The car had not been tested properly with the correct bearings and everything else, so we had no clue how we’d do or where we would end up. I think our catamaran design style and our innovative extended canister housing which no one has done before are the two key factors that have given us the edge.”

Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman, F1 in Schools, said of the racing action: “It’s been a very special day in the history of F1 in Schools, as we’ve never had 11 race runs under one second. It was only a year ago that the world record ducked under a second and this year, it’s been broken twice already, with four teams cracking the one second barrier. I thought the honours were with Greece today, but then Australia pipped them to the record. Well done to the Aussies!”

The 2016 F1 in Schools World Finals continues until Wednesday, with 39 teams from 23 countries participating. For more information on the competition, click here.