Three Exeter School teams competed in the South West Regional Final of the F1 in Schools Competition with two through to the National Final.
Team Momentum won fastest car and best engineered car in the Professional Class whereas Team Energia took the prize for fastest car in the development class – earning them their places in the final held in Bristol in April.
Team Saola won praise for their unique environmental concept and and were awarded a prize for marketing and sponsorship.
The F1 in Schools South West Regional Final was held on Wednesday 26 February at the Bristol Science Park.
The three Exeter School teams competed against nine other teams with the aim of testing and racing their designs and achieving a place in the National Finals next month.
The competition asks teams to design a brand, raise sponsorship and design, develop and race a vehicle to a strict set of regulations, much like real F1. The pupils design their compressed gas-powered racing cars using 3D CAD then CNC mill and 3D print the final design. Designs were validated using the schools low speed smoke tunnel to observe the air movement over the designs and teams also used CFD virtual wind tunnel software.
Teams are assessed on their verbal presentation and pit displays to explain their activities to a panel of judges from Airbus and Rolls Royce amongst others. The racing down a 25-metre track is much like drag racing, a traffic light system tests team’s reaction times, which is added to the track time.
Momentum’s Barnaby O’Brien’s consistency posted reaction times around 0.2 seconds, this added to the best track time across 25 metres of 1.028 seconds gave a winning time of 1.239 seconds, enough to win the professional class category with a very low drag design made very close to the minimum weight permitted. Momentum won the awards for fastest car and best engineered car in the Professional Class.
Team Saola won praise for their unique environmental concept to promote the rare Saola, winning the award for marketing and sponsorship. Freddie Fitt said: “One thing I learnt from the event was that you need to have something unique about you that makes you stand out to the judges to do well.”
Team Energia also won the fastest car in the development class with a vehicle that impressed the judges by not breaking any scrutineering rules and thus incurring no points penalties. Will Olney and Charlie Harvey were responsible for the design.
Will Olney said: “F1 in Schools has really helped me understand aerodynamics and use it in a practical way.
“I really enjoyed F1 in Schools and the end of the process was really rewarding.”
Momemtum and Energia secured places in the two-day National Final held in Bristol 1-2 April, where the track will be under the wing of Concord at Aerospace Bristol.
The teams wish to thank their current sponsors and would be very keen to speak to other companies who may be interested in sponsorship and advertising opportunities. The National Finals are streamed live and often appear in the national press.
Teachers Mr Rose and Mrs Tamblyn were very impressed with the efforts of the teams.
Mr Rose said the range of skills the entrants have to master including marketing, aerodynamic theory, use of CAD/CAM, graphic design and use of social media to both promote and communicate with sponsors is challenging and the work produced is outstanding.
Charlie Harvey said F1 was really interesting and exciting and it felt rewarding watching our car go down the track.