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F1 in Schools: Australia team victorious in World Finals
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Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  23 Sep 2011   |  6:33 am GMT  |  19 comments

An Australian Secondary School has been crowned world champions in this years fiercely competitive F1 in Schools World Final, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Pentagliders from Brooks High School in Tasmania produced the best engineered car and the fastest; completing the 20-metre sprint in 1.084 seconds, beating the times of 22 other schools from around the world to claim the Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy.

The F1 in Schools challenge was set-up in 1999, aiming to make the teaching of engineering and technology more exciting for young people. They aim to stimulate the notion of team work and creativity in a sporting context by making each team completely responsible for every aspect of the challenge.

Each team develops a car on Computer Aided Design (CAD) software, which can then be tested for aerodynamic efficiency using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software. Cars can then be built and tested for improvements in wind tunnels, before taking to the track for the final sprint.


The Pentagliders, consisting of four team members, have worked for two years on their vehicle and they will each receive Automotive and Motorsport Engineering degree scholarships at City University London. Team Manager, Amy Winter, spoke of her delight upon being named as champions. “It hasn’t sunk in yet, we’re just blown away to have won. I’ve been working towards this for five years and Pentagliders has been a team for over two years.”

The team members were invited into the F1 paddock Thursday evening to meet leading F1 figures and receive their trophy from Bernie Ecclestone, a keen supporter of the programme. World champion car designer Adrian Newey of Red Bull took time out to examine the winning car and discuss its engineering with team members.

F1 in Schools has grown significantly, spreading to 34 countries, with over 12 million students having taken part. It is acknowledged by many leading figures in F1 as an important initiative as the sport strives to find passionate and creative engineers for the future. And we are starting to see more of them being picked up by teams; one former US student starts work at McLaren shortly.

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19 Comments
  1. PaulL says:

    Congratulations! Proud of you guys..!
    Would love to see a snap of the car they developed.

    1. Tristan McCarthy says:

      Hi PaulL
      Thanks!
      Checkout the PentaGliders facebook page for car pics
      - Tristan
      Design and Aerodynamics Engineer of the team

  2. Darren says:

    Awesome. At least us Aussies won something in F1 this season! D-)

  3. Nadeem says:

    Great job guys made us Aussies proud. Hope you get good recognition locally

  4. MISTER says:

    Thanks for the article James.
    Had no idea something this elaborate has been organized for years.
    I am so happy for these kids who worked so hard for years and gutted for all the rest who participated and maybe worked just as hard but nobody will hear about them.
    They all deserve a mention.

    Ohh and building a car that goes 20 metres in 1 sec is incredible.
    Are the cars battery powered? How light are they?

    1. Tristan McCarthy says:

      Thanks!
      The cars are powered by cylinders of 8g of compressed CO2 gas and the min. legal mass is 55g (without gas cylinder), plenty of other rules to – checkout http://www.f1inschools.org.au/
      rules can be downloaded from the right hand side column
      Tristan – Design and Aerodynamics Engineer of PentaGliders

  5. gonzeche says:

    The Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy…
    God save us all!

    1. unococ says:

      Should be more kid friendly… I pick the Marlboro World Championship!

  6. jpinx says:

    Brilliant !!! and from Tasmania makes it so much more impressive — that is not exactly the centre of the universe ;)

  7. Andrew Carter says:

    Congratulations to The Pentagliders. This is an excellent initiative that really does deserve more mainstream publicity than it currently gets.

  8. Michael S says:

    very cool program indeed

  9. Mutahir says:

    Great work done by the aussies…. Really wished if this competition was also held in Pakistan….

  10. Cody Weston says:

    I’m trying to get F1 in Schools in my school! My engineering teacher is really taking an interest. Hopefully Mr. Newey takes in interest in my car as well…

  11. tylerzaath says:

    excellent, I’ll assume this means Australia will get a 2nd GP now…..cheers Bernie!

  12. Atef Girgis says:

    Amy Winter your a legend

  13. L33t_Of_Lag says:

    Aussie Aussie Aussie. Well done to them.

  14. Leon says:

    Well done you guys! Rory Byrne and Gordon Murray both came from comparatively small towns in South Africa, so there is nothing stopping some young engineers from Tasmania going all the way to the top.

  15. I’m in my schools team next year, Abu Dhabi I think! Can’t wait!

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