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Formula 1 at Rishworth

  • Formula 1 at Rishworth
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One man’s dream became reality this year when the car he designed and built was raced at Silverstone. An idea which was formulated one evening in the School Library by Laurence Vines and it began to transform into a real possibility when he recruited his team: Max Pendlebury, Grant Torrington and Dominic Friedrich. The idea was pitched initially, almost two years ago, to Physics Teacher, Mr. McGarry, who agreed to mentor the team and gave up his Monday evenings to the cause.

 

Formula 1 in Schools main objective is to help change the perceptions of science, technology, engineering and maths by creating an exciting and fun environment for young people to develop an informed view about careers in engineering, science, technology, business and marketing. This appealed to Laurence, who has a keen interest to work in Formula One.

 

In order to get the project up and running initial investment was needed. The team decided to meet with Mr. Gloag and formally present their proposal to him. Seeing how inspired the team were and delighted with their ‘intellectual curiosity’, Mr. Gloag willingly provided the funds to get the project started.

The next challenge was to dissect the strict regulations which were in place for the competition and to allocate the job roles between the team members. The decisions were made:

  • Laurence Vines: Team Manager, Design Engineer and (Joint) Manufacturing Engineer.
  • Dominic Friedrich: (Joint) Resources Manager, (Joint) Manufacturing Engineer and Driver.
  • Grant Torrington: Graphic Designer.
  • Max Pendlebury: (Joint) Resources Manager and Driver.

 

The team met after school on a weekly basis with Mr. McGarry. This allowed them the opportunity to regroup, brainstorm ideas, discuss their progress, solve problems and set targets for the following week. When interviewed they all agreed that they would never have been able to achieve the success they did without Mr. McGarry.

 

 

The group estimate that they spent around fifty hours designing and assembling their car, not including the work completed by third parties. They describe one of the most challenging aspects of the process was finding that when they assembled the car, their meticulous work during the design phase didn’t always translate into the precise measurements required when built. Due to the extremely stringent regulations, which would be measured to a tolerance of 0.1mm by the scrutineers prior to being permitted to race, meant that further time was needed to rectify the issues.

 

The boys agreed that the process was much harder than they originally anticipated, often due to things which were outside of their control, for example, waiting for third parties to get back to them, send or return parts.

 

Dominic originally designed the team logo, which was then rendered professionally by their sponsor Vonderbrand. When the boys described their long discussions about deciding what to name their car, they joked that unfortunately their preferred names of Porsche and Maserati were already taken. In the end they agreed to just keep it simple and call it CR-LV-01 and then their modified second car had B added at the end. CR for Centurion Racing and LV for Laurence Vines, who designed the car.

 

The regional heats approached quickly and were held in Birmingham. Each team was judged on three elements: the car, a marketing booth which the team designed to display the various stages of the cars development and a ten minute presentation to three judges with backgrounds in engineering (one of whom works for Rolls Royce). The team created a bespoke table top which allowed them to construct a display demonstrating the evolution of their car. The judges wanted to see how well the boys could convey their ideas, explain how and why their design evolved in the way it did and to convince them why their design worked.

 

The team made it to the National Finals at Silverstone with their outstanding overall performance in each category. They were the first team, in the history of the competition, from West Yorkshire to get to the nationals. A great success story already.

 

The team were allowed to make changes to their car in preparation for the national stage of the competition but this required them to raise some much needed funding. The boys contacted companies to attract sponsors and were able to raise just over £1,000, plus a number of businesses contributed parts which were crucial to the making of the car.

 

In addition to the monetary contribution by Rishworth School to kickstart the project, RS Asbestos, Torrington Orthopaedics, DSales (UK) Ltd, Norjen Precision Engineering and the School PTA all donated money to fund the inaugural year of Centurion Racing.  Many thanks also need to go to all the people who made smaller contributions through the team’s GoFundMe campaign, a crucial part of the team’s social media strategy as well as a welcome source of income.

 

The team partnered with several businesses and it is a testimony to the relationships the team developed with these organisations that members of the team have had work experience with four of the companies.  Vonderbrand were the team’s first sponsor and in addition to helping create the team’s logo and brand, they mentored the team in creating their website and portfolios. Stottercliffe Road Garage painted the cars.  Halifax Bearings provided bearings for the cars which were taken to the National Finals and The Switch Entertainment provided event lighting for the Team booth.  Boxford cut the initial iterations of the CR-LV-01 on their CNC machines and Microkerf provided laser cut aluminum wings.  Finally, 3DPrintUK provided discounted 3D printed components and GoWristBands provided discounted merchandise.

 

At Silverstone each team were presented a booth measuring 2m x 1m x 2m for their marketing display. The boys had upped their game but also came to the conclusion, that as happens in the actual Formula One, the displays were representative of the money that each team had. With this in mind, when they compete next year they aim to increase the level of sponsorship, and would ideally like to recruit a car manufacturer and a university as team sponsors.

The position the team came in overall is still yet to be announced, however, very commendably the boys were nominated for the Sponsorship and Marketing Award. Of the thirty teams in the finals, only nine teams received nominations. For their first year in the competition their success is outstanding; we very much look forward to see their performance next year.

 

So what happens next? The new regulations for next year’s competition will be released mid-September, however the boys already think they have an idea of some of the changes that will be made. So far, they have already identified more than thirty potential modifications they are going to make to their car design, including making it lighter and to have an admissible LERS (Launch Energy Recovery System).  Also, Mr. McGarry would like to recruit some new members to the Centurion Team to ensure its continuation when the current team go onto university.

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