COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN
Crocus Plains high school students (from left) Evan Melanson, Jevon Swallow, Jordan Dyck and Paige Kasprick are headed to Abu Dhabi to test their car design in a competition.
A team of four Crocus Plains students are jetting off to Abu Dhabi today to compete in the Formula One in Schools World Finals.
Grade 12 drafting students Evan Melanson, Paige Kasprick, Jordan Dyck and Jevon Swallow have been preparing for the competition for two years.
The team came in second at the national competition when they were in Grade 10, earning them a berth at the World Finals.
"Everyone is pretty excited," Melanson said.
"We just cleared all of our last major hurdles, we just finished up the cars … and everyone’s just excited to go now."
Drafting instructor Tom Outhwaite has been with the team every step of the way, and will travel with them to the United Arab Emirates.
"It’s been a lot of work, a lot of hours," Outhwaite said.
The students are responsible for the conception, design and production of the model car, which is 1/20th the size of a Formula One race car.
To ensure the car is as aerodynamic, efficient and stable as possible, the model is put through a serious of tests and trials, including a wind tunnel test, before it hits the racetrack.
The F1 in Schools World Final will coincide with the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. More than 250 students from around the world will be competing.
"It’s going to be held this time at a theme park called Ferrari World, and that’s all tied in the same complex with the F1 track," Outhwaite said. "It’s an amazing experience for the kids."
Melanson said the team has been working hard to prepare for the competition.
"We’ve done hundreds of wind tunnel tests preparing the car and making sure we know exactly why it’s fast," he said.
"Because obviously we have to have the fastest car, but we also want to know exactly why it was the fastest and be able to prove that our design is the best one out there."
The team has also been busy fundraising for the trip, raising $25,000.
"It’s very exciting because it’s an experience we’re never going to get again," Kasprick said.
"But at the same time it’s very stressful … we don’t know how we’re going to end up performing when we get there."
The Crocus Plains students will be teaming up with three students from Korea.
The World Finals will be held Oct. 29-31 with the teams competing for the prestigious Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy and coveted automotive and motorsport engineering scholarships to City University London.
The cars race on a 20-metre track, with the cars covering the distance in just over one second, a speed barrier that is yet to be broken by any student team since it was set by Team FUGA from Northern Ireland at the 2007 World Finals with a time of 1.020 seconds.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 25, 2012