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Australian Pentagliders team wins F1 in Schools World Finals



Sept.23 – Pentagliders team from Brooks High School – Tasmania, Australia, grab top honours at the seventh Formula 1 in Schools World Finals event in Malaysian at Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. The learning proposal sees teams of students researching, designing, testing, manufacturing and racing miniature F1 cars.

The team members are 18-year-olds Tristan McCarthy, Amy Winter and Nathan Clark, with Jack Ball, 17, battle off strong fight in the global student technology challenge to beat 22 teams from Australasia, Europe, Asia, Africa, America and the Middle East. F1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy, the winners win coveted Automotive and Motorsport Engineering degree scholarships at City University London.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet, we’re just blown away to have won,” said team manager Winter. “I’ve been working towards this for five years and Pentagliders has been a team for over two years. It’s taken us that long to win the Australian National Finals, then we come here and win it on our first attempt, unbelievable! I think we’re a special team as we’re not just in it for ourselves, but for others as well. We mentor young students entering F1 in Schools and help them with their cars. It’s great that a small team from a small place like Tasmania can show people that we can achieve great success. Just because we’re from a small places doesn’t mean we can’t do big things.”

“After the National Finals where we had the fastest car and won outright, we focused on improving the details of the car, especially the aerodynamics and the friction,” explained fellow team member McCarthy. “I think a special coating on our wheels, the nearly mirror finish of our paintwork as well as our wing designs all helped us to have the best car.

“Aerodynamics is my passion, so this is an opportunity which I’m very tempted with. At the moment, I just can’t quite believe we’ve won, but the scholarship is definitely something I will consider.”

German national champions, BETAGREEN, from Grootmoor Gymnasium, Hamburg were the runners-up. The all-boy team also won the best research and development award with the judges noting the quality of their R&D programme. Last year’s world champions, the USA team, UNITUS Racing from South East High School, Florida and James Madison Middle School, Virginia, took third place on the podium.

The host nation, Malaysia featured in two awards, with Velospeed SIC, from Sekolah Menengah Sains Hulu Selangor, taking the team portfolio award and Axis, a collaboration team from Dubai College, UAE and Aminudin Baki Secondary School, Malaysia, collecting the team identity award. Canada took the knock-out racing glory, just pipping C-Force from Scotland in the finals of the highly competitive head-to-head racing element of the F1 in Schools world finals.

The Golden Geckos from Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School, Brandon lifted the knock-out racing award. Cyber Express F1 Team from Gymnázium J.K.Tyla, Czech Republic, were presented with the outstanding sportsmanship award, which they won for the fair play they showed when distractions put off their opposition in the knock-out competition and they allowed a re-run.

Dynamic from St. John Payne Catholic School, UK, set a new record with back-to-back verbal presentation awards. Having won the trophy in 2010 they beat stiff competition to win it again in 2011. Fflam, a team from Ysgol Botwnnog, Wales, took the best sponsorship and marketing award, with the best newcomer award being presented to Dresser Racing from Kongsberg High School, Norway.

The collaboration team trophy was awarded to Trident Racing, a joint initiative from Sebastopol College, Australia and Raffles Girls’ School, Singapore. Ireland, meanwhile, collected two trophies, with Octane Racing from Dundalk Grammar School collecting the best team website award and the best pit display award. The innovative thinking award was presented to Team RedShift from Dubai College, UAE, with the judges commending the team on their superb rear wing design which showed the depth of thought put into developing the team’s car design.

Phoenix Team Kenya was a first time participant in the F1 in Schools world finals. Their journey to the event took three days via Nairobi and Bahrain, including a 10 hour stopover en route and the students being tasked with homework to complete during their travel. The team learned how to use Solid Works CAD/CAM software in an impressive two weeks and arranged for their car to be manufactured in the UK. All these feats earned the team a well-deserved award, the award for perseverance in the face of adversity.

The F1 in Schools Technology Challenge is contested in 34 countries around the world, with 17,000 students participating in the competition.

Full list of winners:

World Champions supported by City University London
Pentagliders, Brooks High School, Australia

Second-placed team award supported by the Malaysian Ministry of Education
BETAGREEN, Grootmoor Gymnasium , Germany

Third-placed team award supported by The Institution of Engineering and Technology
Unitus Racing, South East High School and James Madison Middle School, USA

Best engineered car award supported by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
Pentagliders, Brooks High School, Australia

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

Fastest car award supported by Petronas Mercedes GP
Pentagliders, Brooks High School, Australia (run time: 1.084 seconds)

Verbal presentation award supported by Williams F1
Dynamic, St John Payne Catholic School, UK

Team identity award supported by Ferrari
Axis, Dubai College and Aminudin Baki Secondary School, UAE and Malaysia

Knock-out racing award supported by Sepang International Circuit
The Golden Geckos, Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School, Canada

Pit display award supported by Toro Rosso
Octane Racing, Dundalk Grammar School, Ireland

Outstanding sportsmanship award supported by Force India Formula One Team
Cyber Express F1 Team, Gymnázium J.K.Tyla , Czech Republic

Team portfolio award supported by F1 Racing Magazine
Velospeed SIC, Sekolah Menengah Sains Hulu Selangor, Malaysia

Sponsorship and marketing award supported by Marussia Virgin Racing
Fflam, Ysgol Botwnnog, Wales

Perseverance in the face of adversity award supported by Red Bull Racing
Phoenix Team Kenya, St. Andrew’s School, Kenya

Best research and development award supported by Pirelli
BETAGREEN, Grootmoor Gymnasium , Germany

Best innovative thinking award supported by Lotus Renault GP
Team RedShift, Dubai College, UAE

Best newcomer award supported by Sauber F1 Team
Dresser Racing, Kongsberg High School, Norway

Best team website award supported by Denford Ltd
Octane Racing, Dundalk Grammar School, Ireland

For more information on F1 in Schools, see


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