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USA team places 3rd in F1 in Schools competition
UNITUS Racing, left to right - Amanda Clark, Mark Nanney, Niemann Pest and Tony Griffin.
2010 F1 in Schools World Champions, UNITUS Racing, from South East High School, Bradenton, Florida and James Madison Middle School, Roanoke, Virginia returned to defend their title at the 2011 F1 in Schools World Finals held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last week. It was an intense week of competition and the team were delighted to take third place on the podium this time.

Amanda Clark, Mark Nanney, Niemann Pest and Tony Griffin, formed UNITUS Racing to compete in the F1 in Schools Technology Challenge in USA.  Last year they won through Regional Finals in their home country, and then won the USA F1 in Schools title, to secure a place at the World Finals, where they beat the opposition to be crowned 2010 World Champions. Their national success was repeated this year, booking them a place at the World Finals for a second consecutive year.

Amanda Clark, Team Manager, Unitus Racing, reflects on the competition, “We came here as reigning World Champions and knew that it would be very difficult to keep our title and we thought it would be even tougher than last year, which it proved to be. It’s a great achievement for us to finish on the podium in the third place spot, especially as we were only 6.6 marks off Pentagliders, the new World Champions, and just 3.4 marks from the runners-up, BETAGREEN from Germany.

“There were so few marks between everyone, particularly the top five teams, so I think we did really well to get third. It’s been a different experience this year, having been before. The pressure was just as intense during the competition, but we’ve also been able to enjoy it more too. We know that it’s an experience we’ll never have again, so we’re savoring every moment and loving being in Malaysia.
Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman, F1 in Schools, says of the team’s success, “This year’s F1 in Schools World Finals has been the most competitive in the history of the program. The top teams were just a few marks apart, and I think UNITUS Racing should be very proud of the success they have achieved. As ambassadors for their country and of F1 in Schools, they are excellent and demonstrate just how beneficial it can be to compete in the Challenge. I’m sure they will all go on to have further success in their careers ahead.”

The Australian team, Pentagliders, were crowned 2011 F1 in Schools World Champions at yesterday’s Awards Ceremony. They fought off intense competition, beating 22 teams from Australasia, Europe, Asia, Africa, America and the Middle East to take the title, the Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy and coveted Automotive and Motorsport Engineering degree scholarships at City University London.  Runner-up to the victorious Australian team were German National Champions, BETAGREEN, from Grootmoor Gymnasium, Hamburg.
The event took place at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 19th – 21st September with the assistance of a host of sponsors and supporters including the Malaysian Ministry of Education, The Institution of Engineering and Technology, City University London, Denford Limited, Sepang International Circuit and Hilton Racing.

Each team of between three and six students brings together their work to present to a judging panel with a verbal and written presentation to support their model car, which is raced on a specially designed test track. At the World Finals each team takes along a pit display, three identical cars and portfolio, as well as having prepared a presentation for the judges. The cars race on a 20 meter 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.


2011 F1 in Schools World Champions supported by City University London
WINNER              Pentagliders, Brooks High School, Australia

Second placed Team Award supported by the Malaysian Ministry of Education
WINNER              BETAGREEN, Grootmoor Gymnasium, Germany

Third placed Team Award supported by The Institution of Engineering and Technology
WINNER              UNITUS Racing, South East High School and James Madison Middle School, USA

Best Engineered Car Award supported by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
WINNER              Pentagliders, Brooks High School, Australia

Collaboration Award supported by Team Lotus
WINNER              Trident Racing, Sebastopol College and Raffles Girls’ School, Australia and Singapore

Fastest Car Award supported by Petronas Mercedes GP
WINNER              Pentagliders, Brooks High School, Australia (run time: 1.084 seconds)

Verbal Presentation Award supported by Williams F1
WINNER              Dynamic, St John Payne Catholic School, UK

Team Identity Award supported by Ferrari
WINNER              Axis, Dubai College and Aminudin Baki Secondary School, UAE and Malaysia

Knock-out Racing Award supported by Sepang International Circuit
WINNER              The Golden Geckos, Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School, Canada

Pit Display Award supported by Toro Rosso
WINNER              Octane Racing, Dundalk Grammar School, Ireland

Outstanding Sportsmanship Award supported by Force India Formula One Team
WINNER              Cyber Express F1 Team, Gymnázium J.K.Tyla, Czech Republic

Team Portfolio Award supported by F1 Racing Magazine
WINNER              Velospeed SIC, Sekolah Menengah Sains Hulu Selangor, Malaysia

Sponsorship and Marketing Award supported by Marussia Virgin Racing
WINNER              Fflam, Ysgol Botwnnog, Wales

Perseverance in the Face of Adversity Award supported by Red Bull Racing
WINNER              Phoenix Team Kenya, St. Andrew’s School, Kenya

Best Research and Development Award supported by Pirelli   
WINNER              BETAGREEN, Grootmoor Gymnasium, Germany

Best Innovative Thinking Award supported by Lotus Renault GP             
WINNER              Team RedShift, Dubai College, UAE

Best Newcomer Award supported by Sauber F1 Team                 
WINNER              Dresser Racing, Kongsberg High School, Norway

Best Team Website Award supported by Denford Ltd   
WINNER              Octane Racing, Dundalk Grammar School, Ireland

About F1 in Schools
F1 in Schools is the only global multi-disciplinary challenge for students aged 9 to 19. The founding constitution of F1 in Schools stipulates that it shall remain a not-for-profit organization. Based in London and supported by the Institute of Engineering and Technology, funds are raised through sponsorship and invested in administering, developing and expanding the challenge. The competition inspires students to use IT to learn about physics, aerodynamics, design, manufacturing, branding, graphics, sponsorship, marketing, leadership, teamwork, media skills and financial strategy, and apply them in a practical, imaginative and exciting way.

F1 in Schools challenges students to use software to design, build and race a miniature Formula 1 car made from balsa wood and powered by a single compressed air cylinder. Participating teams all receive a starter kit that includes all basic materials, including a block of balsa wood from which their car will be fabricated. They write a business plan, prepare a budget and raise sponsorship through cooperation with the business community. Using CAD (Computer Aided Design) technology, the teams design a Formula 1 car before analyzing its efficiency in a virtual reality wind tunnel.

The cars are then fabricated with the use of CAM (Computer Aided Manufacture) software before being tested in wind and smoke tunnels. The final part of the challenge is the race, with teams competing along a special 20-metre straight track. The cars must cover the distance as quickly as possible – the current record is just 1.020 seconds! Each school finds its own winning team and they then move to regional, national and international competition at the F1 in Schools World Finals. The overall winners receive the Bernie Ecclestone F1 in Schools World Champions trophy and all members of the winning team receive a university scholarship.

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