Formula One victory for Potters Bar team

JENSON Button was not the only Brit to jump on to the top of the Grand Prix podium this week.

A Potters Bar school also landed first place as its scale-model Formula One car was crowned at the F1 in Schools UK National Finals.

Dame Alice Owen’s School’s Team Ignite took home the Innovative Thinking Award, before being handed the ultimate prize – first place in the Fomula One Class, at the event held at The Big Bang Fair, NEC, in Birmingham.

The Dugdale Hill Lane students saw off competition from 31 other teams, each of which had won their regional finals.

Their mission was to design, build, test and race a miniature F1 car.

Their entry was judged in a number of categories including engineering, pit presentation and display, as well as the car’s speed being tested on the 20 metre drag test track.

Judges praised Team Ignite’s “high standards of work and the excellence of the engineering”.

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The youngsters were handed an impressive glass trophy, tickets to the British Grand Prix and a TW STEEL watch each, and were given a place in the world finals, to compete against 39 other countries.

Jon Perrett, team manager, said: “It’s amazing. We can’t quite believe it.

“It’s the perfect end to two very exciting and fun days.

“We worked really hard after the regional finals, as we knew we had to improve in some areas if we were to do well at the nationals, but we really didn’t expect to win.

“I think our car design was the main reason why we beat everyone, as we had lots of innovative ideas and had done loads of research.

“In this competition it’s not just the car design though, as you need to score well in all the other elements, so we put lots of effort into our presentation, portfolio and pit display.”

James Linwood, design engineer for the team, said added: “It is unbelievable. I think I’ll be spending every waking hour developing our car design and turning it into a really fast car.

“We need to have a sub one second car for the world finals. It’s never been done before and it’s really difficult to achieve with the tight rules and regulations, but it’s the goal we now have.”