Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Odiham school F1 race car team through to world finals

Team Blur's futuristic race car
Image caption The miniature car is powered by compressed air

A miniature race car designed and built by four Hampshire students is through to the world finals of the annual F1 in Schools competition.

The 13 and 14-year-olds, from Robert May's School in Odiham, have spent 10 months working on the 25cm car, which can cover 20m in half a second.

Their car is built from balsa wood and powered by a compressed air canister.

Team "Blur" will compete with entrants from 35 countries at the world finals in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in September.

The UK heat in London saw the four students pit themselves against 27 other school teams. Cars were raced several times side by side with competitors along 20m straights.

As well as their car's speed, the students were judged through four interviews, a formal presentation and a marketing stand display in the "pit" area.

The team took first place in the Bloodhound Car Class and also won trophies for fastest Bloodhound Car and Best Team Sponsorship and Marketing.

'Like a bullet'

The teenagers have dedicated much of their spare time to the project, guided and supported by the school's head of engineering Phil Cain.

He said: "It doesn't look like it's been done by schoolchildren. It's a work of engineering, it looks like a bullet."

Part of the project includes raising sponsorship and gaining help from local businesses, which have worked with the children on all aspects from wheel manufacturing to presentation skills.

The students raised £2,000 for the national challenge without spending a single penny themselves.

They will now work towards funding their 6,557-mile trip to Malaysia.

Victory would earn them the Bernie Ecclestone F1 in Schools World Championship trophy.

The winning students are also offered a full university scholarship at City University, London.

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