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Ecclestone crowns F1 in Schools champions

NEWS STORY
26/03/2008

Bernie Ecclestone (third from left above) has crowned England's Team Pulse 2008 F1 in Schools World Champions.

John Ware, 16, Samuel Wood, 15, Andrew Lees, 16 and Thomas Simpson, 17 were presented with the Bernie Ecclestone Trophy by Mr Ecclestone himself during a presentation in the Malaysian Grand Prix F1 paddock.

As previously reported, the four-man team from Devonport High School for Boys, Plymouth, UK fought off competition from 24 teams from 15 countries to claim the coveted BEng Automotive and Motor Sport Engineering scholarships at City University London.

"We are still in shock," said 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."

Pat Symonds, Renault F1 Engineering Director and patron of F1 in Schools attended the prize giving ceremony and expressed his delight at the standard students had achieved in this year's competition saying of Team Pulse: "Any one of them could put me out of a job."

Team Pulse also won the 'Fastest Car' award clocking a time of 1.064 seconds, just shy of the world record set by Team Fuga of Northern Ireland last year at 1.020 seconds. Several of the teams blamed the slower times on the humid conditions which increased the moisture in the air, and in some cases added weight to the miniature cars.

"When we were at school, we did manage to get under one second," said Thomas. "I think the conditions here in Malaysia played their part but it means the challenge is still there for teams to break the one second barrier."

The judges said Pulse scored well with an impressive portfolio and clinical presentation as well as winning the knock out challenge on Thursday morning to clinch the highest points total and scoop the title of "2008 World Champions".

As part of their prize, Team Pulse attended the Malaysian Grand Prix and had access to the Formula 1 paddock. The team also enjoyed a tour of the Renault F1 pit garage and an informal chat with Honda Team Principal Ross Brawn in the Honda F1 hospitality suite.

Second and third places on the podium were locked out by Australia. Goshawk from the Trinity Christian School, ACT, Australia took second place as well as The Best Engineered Car Award while team mates and Australia National Champions Impulse F1 from Barker College, New South Wales sealed third spot.

UK National Champions scooped the Innovative Thinking Award after the judges were impressed with their computer controlled air tunnel and The Best Newcomer Award went to Team Pitomia of France.

Team Hybrid, a partnership between Scotland and USA, won Best Collaboration Team for the second successive year while Team Blaze from Ynysawdre Comprehensive School flew the flag for Wales when they won Best Team Identity Award.

Singapore's Sonic_T won Best Sportsmanship Award. The National Champions took Polaroid pictures of themselves with all of the competing teams and then put them in a scrap book where fellow teams wrote messages of friendship.

The Excaliburs, a collaboration between Bildunf Fur Technik und Natur, Germany and SMK Seksyen 9, Malaysia were presented with the Perseverance in The Face of Adversity Award. On Monday, one of the team members was taken to hospital and underwent major surgery but despite this, just two days later, she returned to support her team mates and complete her part of the verbal presentation.

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

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