Essex student team ..


Six budding Formula One engineers showed that they have the X Factor today. Team Velocity School student team, from St John Payne Catholic Comprehensive School in Essex designed, created and raced to victory in the National Finals of the Formula One in Schools Technology Challenge held at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham this weekend. The National Champions were ecstatic with their achievement after several months of dedication to producing a winning car paid off for the students. Team Velocity have worked tirelessly for the last six months, perfecting the design of their scale model Formula One car and beating over 200 teams from around the country to lift the F1 in Schools National title. They will now go forward to the World Championship event next year, with the prospect of racing for the prestigious Bernie Ecclestone trophy and coveted scholarships to City University, London. Their victory, as well as securing them their chance to represent Britain, also won the team members a trip to the 2009 British Grand Prix and a fast track to a work experience placement at Williams Formula One team, with one lucky student guaranteed this highly sought after opportunity.

Team Velocity consisted of David Nicholls, Patrick Delaney, Hannah Griggs, Ronald Lee, Gemma Morris and William O’Donnell. David Nicholls Team Manager, Team Velocity, said of winning, “It feels absolutely amazing to have won as Overall Winners, we really didn’t think we would win to be honest, so that makes it even more amazing. I have an A-Level exam at nine in the morning and we’ve put all of this together during our busiest exam period and university applications, so it’s a testament to our team work that we’ve managed to pull it all together for the National Finals and win.

“We have learnt so much about working as a team, taking on our individual job role and then coming together as a team to make our ideas work, we have a great team unity here at Team Velocity. We’re really excited about the World Championships, we’ll work on our car to make it quicker and do anything we can to step it up a notch to increase our chances of winning. The World Championships are being held in the UK, so it would be brilliant to have a UK World Championship winning team.”

Chairman and Founder of F1 in Schools, Andrew Denford said of this year’s National Finals, “The future of Formula One should be in safe hands if the standard achieved by our winners in particular, and all our entrants, is an indicator of prospective British engineering talent. With the support of the Formula One industry, F1 in Schools has captured the imagination of thousands of school children, not only in the UK but around the globe as well.  We’re delighted that F1 in Schools is providing schools and students with an innovative, engaging and rewarding programme that encourages independent thinking, team work, and engineering learning. The success of our event today proves that it is highly relevant and is a valuable stepping stone for a future career in engineering, and maybe, Formula One.” The F1 in Schools competition challenges students to design, construct and race a scale Formula 1 car, made from a block of balsa wood and powered by a compressed gas canister. The cars race on a 20 metre track, 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 at the 2007 World Championships.

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National Champions 2008/09Velocity – St. John Payne Catholic Comprehensive School, Chelmsford, Essex Winners 11-14 Age Group sponsored by The IET: 1.   Shooting Starz – Richard Rose Central Academy, Carlisle, Cumbria 2.   Team Formula Xtreme – Ballycastle High School, Ballycastle, Antrim, N.Ireland 3.   Memphis – St.Dunstan’s Community School, Glastonbury, Somerset Winners 14-19 Age Group sponsored by Autosport International: 1.   Velocity – St. John Payne Catholic Comprehensive School, Chelmsford, Essex 2.   Team Velocity – The Gryphon School, Sherborne, Dorset 3.   Falcons – Richard Rose Central Academy, Carlisle, Cumbria Winners Rookies sponsored by Corus: 1.   Dash – Fitzalan High School, Cardiff, Wales 2.   2Fast4U – The Royal Belfast Academical Institution, Belfast, N. Ireland 3.   Faversham Fire  - Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Faversham, Kent Primary F1 in Schools sponsored by F1 in Schools: 1. Caldew Lea Comets- Caldew Lea Primary School, Carlisle, Cumbria 2. Jagah – St. Teresa’s Primary School, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland 3. Worldwide Racers – Ysgol Cae Top, Llanfairpwll, Anglesey, Wales Best Engineered Car sponsored by Jaguar: DNA - Ashfield Boys High School, Belfast, N. Ireland Fastest D-Type sponsored by McLaren Racing: St. Bede's Babes - St. Bede's Catholic Comprehensive School, Peterlee, Durham (1.122 seconds) Fastest R-Type sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering: Team Velocity – The Gryphon School, Sherborne, Dorset (1.149 seconds) Team Discipline Award - The Chairman's Award: St. Bede's Babes - St. Bede's Catholic Comprehensive School, Peterlee, Dorset Perseverance in the face of adversity award sponsored by the Learning Grid: Faversham Fire – Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Faversham, Kent Best Team Sponsorship & Marketing Award sponsored by KHP Consulting: Team Velocity – The Gryphon School, Sherborne, Dorset Innovative Thinking Award sponsored by the Silverstone Innovation Centre: Road Rippers – Lochgelly High School, Fife Best Team Website Spectrum F1, Robert Mays School, Essex

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