A team of teenagers from Australia have won the 2013 F1 in Schools world title after three days on intense competition in Austin, Texas.
The group of six students from two schools 3000km apart teamed up to beat 37 other squads from across the world and triumph in the ninth world finals event.
The team, known as A1 Racing, collected the Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy on Thursday along with a scholarship to study motorsport and automotive engineering at City University in London.
It is the second year in a row that an Australian team has won the competition, with a team from Adelaide triumphing last year.
A1 Racing earned their place in the competition by winning the Australian National Finals earlier this year. They also won the award for Fastest Car at the ceremony in Austin.
Allegiance Racing from Southeast High School in the USA were second with Unlimited Acceleration from Lessing-Gymnasium Winnenden in Germany completing the podium in third.
A1 Racing team manager Jacqueline Cunninghame, who oversaw the six students from Pine Rivers State High School, Queensland and Phoenix P-12 Community College, Ballarat, Victoria, said: “We can’t believe we won, it’s just amazing. There were so many good teams, it was really tough, so we’re really happy to have won this. It means everything to us.”
One team member – Dylan Sexton, 17 – had to put celebrations on hold so he could return to his hotel room an sit a Business Management exam minutes after the trophy presentation.
Students are challenged to create their own Formula 1 team and must design, manufacture and race a miniature model compressed air powered Formula 1 car of the future using CAD/CAM Engineering techniques and machined from a block of balsa wood. Cars are then manufactured on a CNC machine.
Each team of between three and six students must also bring a pit display, their cars and a portfolio of their work as well as a verbal presentation for the judges, which is headed by former Formula 1 technical director Gary Anderson.
The cars race on a 20 metre track, with the cars covering the distance in just over one second, a speed barrier which is yet to be broken by any student team since it was set by Team FUGA from Northern Ireland at the 2007 World Finals with a time of 1.020 seconds.