F1 in Schools revs up for 2008 World Champs

Sun, 24 February 2008, 12:47

F1 in Schools is revving up for the 2008 World Championships to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in just one month’s time. School children from 15 countries across the world have battled their way through regional and national finals, and competed against over 7 million students, to win the chance to represent their countries in the fourth annual World Championships.

Over three days of enthralling competition, 25 teams will pit their small scale model F1 car against each other along a miniature 20-metre two lane track.

The aim of F1 in Schools is to encourage students to consider a career in engineering and aspire to become the next Ross Brawn or Pat Symonds, the top men behind the successful of Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso, by providing the students with an enjoyable and exciting learning environment.

The challenge is for school children aged 11 to 18 to use CAD/CAM software to design, analyse, manufacture, test and race their model F1 car made from balsa wood and powered by CO2 cylinders.

The 2008 World Championships will take place in the Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 18th to 20th March 2008, during Grand Prix week for Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit. Representing their countries, the teams will compete to win the coveted Bernie Ecclestone World Championship Trophy and an Automotive Engineering scholarship at City University, London.

With design and engineering playing a pivotal part in Formula One, the initiative has drawn support from several teams and personalities within Formula One including Honda Team Boss, Ross Brawn, Red Bull technical Officer Adrian Newey, Force India Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne, Renault Engineering Director Pat Symonds, Williams Technical Director Sam Michael and ITV F1 Commentator James Allen amongst others as they look to keep an eye out for emerging stars of the future.

Malaysia won the right to hold this year’s World Championships following the growing commitment to F1 in Schools from the Malaysian Ministry of Education.

Dato Sri Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysian Minister of Education said: “We are honoured that F1 in Schools has chosen Malaysia as the host of the world finals. 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.”

Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman of F1 in Schools Ltd expressed his delight ahead of the World Championships in Malaysia. “Malaysia is the first country to adopt F1 in Schools into the national curriculum as well as introducing new initiatives in teaching and learning and is therefore the ideal host for the 2008 World Championships.

“Last year’s World Championships in Melbourne, Australia were an amazing success, and this year we hope for an even greater level of competition between the teams.”

The competition has grown year on year since its birth in 2000, with over 20,000 students and 25 countries aware of the challenge. Bernie Ecclestone, President and CEO of Formula One Management gave his support to F1 in Schools by granting the challenge a world-wide protected trademark and a new logo in 2005.

This year’s World Championships sees four collaboration teams entering the contest as F1 in Schools strives to bring together different races and cultures from all corners of the globe to compete and work together. The collaboration involves two countries pooling their ideas, skills and teamwork together to produce one miniature F1 car.

In 2007, the World Champions were Team Fuga, from Northern Ireland. They set a new world speed record of 1.020 seconds down the 20-metre race track, at a scale speed of over 220 mph per hour and will return next month to defend their title. The runners-up were the all-girl trio from Scotland, Team Lightning, followed by another all-girl team in third place, Mercurial Ace from Malaysia.

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