F1 challenge for St Christopher’s pupils
Manama, October 21, 2012
Five teenagers from Bahrain are set to go up against hundreds of youngsters from around the world to take part in a competition that involves designing and racing replica Formula One cars.
Team 7th Gear, from St Christopher's Senior School, is hoping to make a major impact at the eighth F1 for Schools World Finals in Abu Dhabi later this month.
The three-day event starts on October 29, just before the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and aims to inspire youngsters to learn about physics, aerodynamics, design, manufacture, branding, graphics, sponsorship, marketing, leadership and teamwork, media skills and financial strategies.
Having won the national finals in Bahrain, the 13-year-olds, led by Shawn Amirthan, in their yellow and black uniforms, will be the youngest competing for the Bernie Ecclestone F1 in Schools World Championship trophy.
It involves teams of students aged nine to 19 deploying CAD/CAM (computer aided design/computer aided manufacture) software to collaborate, design, analyse, manufacture, test, and then race miniature gas-powered balsa wood F1 cars.
The cars, approximately 210mm long, will race side-by-side at more than 60km per hour on 20-metre straights and teams will be judged on car speed, as well as supporting evidence of their design, verbal presentation and marketing display stand in the pits.
The students' design technology teacher, Martin Plunkett, who has guided the boys and helped prepare them for the event in the last two years, said the competition was an opportunity for them to learn about engineering, design, marketing, mathematics and a career in motor racing.
"They are also managing all the financing, budgeting and logistics, besides designing and actually building the car all by themselves and that is invaluable learning experience," he said.
"I am very proud of the boys who have come across as a bunch of extremely professional young men with a mission."
Team members include leader Amirthan, manufacturing engineer Anish Vishwakoti, business manager Hussain Mattar, design engineer Daniel Horler, and graphic designer Dominic Harris.
The school's Bahrain team finished 20th in the 2010 event and this year's participants were selected following stiff competition among students.
The team has received the support and backing of the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), which is the team's main sponsor.
"We have supported these youngsters as much as possible and have given them all the exposure. We wish them luck at the world finals," said chief executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa.
He said in preparation, the team visited the BIC during the recent World Endurance Championships and met drivers, engineers and other support staff who make the race happen.
"They have worked hard and prepared well. I have no doubt they will do well," said Shaikh Salman, adding the BIC would work with the government to get more schools to participate in the contest.
Team 7th Gear is being supported by National Motor Company and Al Faris Motors. – TradeArabia News Service