The Royal Racing Coalition team members. (Back Row): Shaun Cleary, Conor Metcalfe, Dean Cleary. (Front Row): Eoin O’Sullivan, Alex Burgess, Evan Kelly.

Dunshaughlin students in pole position for F1 success

A GROUP of transition year students from Dunshaughlin Community College who have been immersing themselves in the world of formula one take part in the national final of the F1 Schools competition in Galway today.

The STEM competition challenges students to design and build their own miniature Formula 1 car which is powered by a CO2 gas canister.

Students Conor Metcalf, Eoin O'Sullivan, Alex Burgess, Dean Cleary, Shaun Cleary and Evan Kelly make up with Royal Racing Coalition and were delighted to make it through to the national final of the competition which takes place at Leisureland at Salthill in Galway this weekend.

Evan told the Meath Chronicle how he had come across the competition on Instagram and Tiktok and thought it was something they would like to have a crack at it.

"Especially with Covid, it was a small group project and we knew we would be able to do it no matter what so we put our minds to it as a project so we didn't get lost in the year."

The school entered the competition once before but it was seven years ago so it was like starting from scratch again.

Evan recalled that they began by looking at old car designs and watched the masterclass video section to try to understand how to design the car.

They are mentored by their woodwork and DSG teacher Mr Fionn Ferguson.

Because of Covid, the regional final was simplified and they had to submit a proposal portfolio and their car design which was evaluated by judges.

Points aren't just awarded for the racing but also for the enterprise aspect of it.

"You don't just get points for racing. It is also for enterprise, how you built up the brand and dealt with sponsorship or secured partnerships," said Evan.

They have a scale model of the car and have partnered with TU Dublin to manufacture their car for them. They are still raising money and hope to buy a track for future use in the school if they can raise enough money and they hope this will encourage other students to take part in the competition going forward.

"We learnt so much. Even just small things like how to interact with businesses and build relationships. It is a different to approach learning and is very hands on. We learned how to interact in the real world and not just in an education setting.

“It was amazing. We were treated like adults and not just like children doing a competition. We have been very happy with how everything has been going."

The final takes place in Leisureland in Salthill, Galway on 13th May.

There are 107 teams in the final and the top three make it on to the international stage of the competition and the fourth placed team collaborate with another fourth placed team for another shot at it.