FSL F1 in school competition

Eclipse Racing FSL Awarded at F1 Final.

The F1 in Schools Competition is organised for people ages 14-18, and requires each team to research, design and build a 20cm long model F1 car which would be fired down a 20m track, propelled by a CO2 canister.

Along with this, pupils are tasked with producing two 10 page portfolios of A3 size on the Design and Engineering of our car, and also on the Enterprise of our team. Sponsorship was necessary for the team to progress through these stages with the highest marks available to them.

Furthermore, during the competition, teams are marked on their pit displays, funded through their sponsorship and also their team identity, shown through their team kit. Each car is scrutinised rigorously to determine that it is safe to race, and points are taken off if any parts of the car don't meet any of the 20 pages of Technical Regulations. On top of the racing and Pit Display, teams are required to undertake a 5-minute verbal presentation on how they handle the project.

Eclipse Racing FSL, consisting of Peter Fox (Team Manager), Joel Dawson (Graphics Designer), Lauren Irwin (Research Manager), Hannah Erskine (Design Manager), Richard Callender (Logistics manager) and David Cleland (Manufacturing Engineer) then went about designing and building a model F1 car, whilst also seeking sponsorship. We are very grateful to Whale 3D Technical Services and SERE for providing us with the necessary funds to progress in the competition. We also thank Miniprint for their support in purchasing our Pit Display banner, which was fantastic.

On Tuesday 23rd Feb, the team embarked on their first Regional Finals, held in Ballymena. Upon arrival the team had a chance to set up their Pit Display, and scope out the opposition. Some of the teams had very impressive stands, but Friends’ were pleased with the way that theirs had turned out.

Soon, two judges came over to mark our display, asking us questions about the competition. We described how we made the car on Solidworks, and then prresented our portfolios, noting our success through social media, such as being tweeted by the official Solidworks account.

F1inSchools2Next, we brought the car over to scrutinising, with the car being approved with just a few minor errors and points being deducted. From this, we were able to race. The cars are attached to a firing pin, and the reactions of the person pulling the trigger being measured, and also the total time for the car to travel the 20m track. Having previously tested our reaction times, Peter Fox was found to have the best reactions. We found that our times are reduced if you run beforehand, so Peter obliged and then was able to have reaction times of 0.187 and 0.198. The car was very successful, achieving times of 1.4 seconds on all three attempts. This ranked well in the overall comparison with other cars.

Finally, we had to present our ideas in the 5-minute verbal presentation. We described how we went about the competition and achieving our sponsorship. The judges were impressed with the presentation, with the chief judge commenting on the flow of the presentation.

After a thoroughly enjoyable day, the team sat down at the award ceremony. We were extremely pleased to win the Judges Discretionary Award with this being our first year in the competition, and all other award winners had participated over multiple years.

Overall, we would like to thank Mr Wilson, Head of Technology at Friends', and Mr Hunter, the Technician for helping us to get the project off the grid. We also thank Mr Moore for letting us pursue this project, and most of all we would like to thank our sponsors Whale 3D Technologies and SERE; without them, this project wouldn't have been possible.