It’s been a while since I was able to get from my side of the world to the wonders of a Goodwood race meeting although I love the Revival it was almost the huge crowds as much as my finances or the ruined knee that kept me away. So when the good Lord announced a members only meeting I was instantly salivating – Pavlov pooch style. Not only was there the prospect of an uncrowded Revival type meeting but also the chance to see some of the first F1 cars I ever saw in action, those insane Group B rally cars and some of the sexiest Le Mans sports cars ever built. Hook, Line and sinker………..

Glorious Porsche 917 LH












  There was some disquiet over the Northern winter as huge storms lashed the South of England leaving huge swathes of it flooded and I wondered if the meeting, set down for the early part of spring, would be either very, very wet or even take place at all. I know I shouldn’t have worried as Lord March again laid on some stunning early spring weather along with the usual incredible racing spectacular. His concept seems to be, be exceptionally professional but not to take anything too seriously. Goodwood race meetings are about not only providing brilliant racing but having as much fun as possible, sometimes in the silliest way possible. Even having the local hunt anf their hounds open the track on Saturday morning. The dogs enjoyed it as much as the crowd.




  All members were allocated to “houses” so they could join the drivers in some form of competition throughout the weekend so if you were not racing you could earn points by showing your skill on the skid-pan towing boats or caravans (almost serious), Martini mixing (Silly and I pity the judge) or welly whanging (VERY silly – England’s version of thong throwing) or any number of weird and wonderful events.


 The hunt opened the track on Saturday


  After the racing on the Saturday evening a short carnival was put on in the infield with everything from rides and dancing to oompah bands playing AC/DC (again VERY silly but bloody good fun) and ending with a spectacular fireworks display.







  The non-racing motoring highlights were the demonstrations of those brutal 1980s turbocharged F1 monsters and the Low-drag Le Mans Sportscars. Some of the advertised starters were a no-show but that didn’t detract from the display. Niki Lauda’s 1984 championship winning McLaren MP4/2, several of Senna’s Lotus’s and Tolemans, some very rare Arrows A9s and the very pretty Alfa Romeo 183T decked out in the Benetton livery that it ran in during pre-season testing in 1984.


 The ex-Niki Lauda McLaren MP4/2










  And the Le Mans sportscars. Well who could ever go past a Martini liveried Porsche 917 without drooling. Or a martini Liveried Lancia LC2 for that matter. Or hear the wail of a Matra V12 without getting an erection? Oh God…………Let alone a Rothmans Porsche 956 or a Rondeau or an Aston Martin or a Ferrari 512 or……… get the idea.




  Also we were treated to a Rally sprint for those loonie Group B cars that made heroes of such legends as Ari Vatanen, Marku Alen, Walter Rohrl and Henri Toivonen etc. The Audi Quattro Sports Evo 2, Lancia 037s and Delta S4s, a Renault 5 Maxi Turbo, a Peugeot 205 T16 Evo 2, a pair of Ford RS200s and a brace of MG Metro GR4s. Single lap sprints were just not enough. More please next time.


 Walter Rohrl's Audi Quattro











  And of course there was the racing. Ahhhh the racing. Saturdays delights were rounded out by the first of the Gerry Marshall Trophy races for 1970’s to early 80’s touring cars which featured a stunning drive from the back of the field to second place by ex-F1 star Emanuele Pirro in a Ford Capri and then a Formula Junior race dominated by the squabbling U2s of Will Mitcham and ray Mallock. Finally there was the Stirling Moss Trophy for late 50’s-early 60’s sportscars that ran into the evening darkness which saw Wolfgang Friedrichs/Simon Hadfield’s Aston Martin DB4 GT edge out the unique Lotus 11 GT “Breadvan” of Joe Twyman and Oliver Bryant by just over half a second after an hour of intensely close racing.




  Sundays fare began with the Tony Gaze Trophy for 1950’s production sports and GT cars which was taken out by Andy Shepherd in an AC Ace after a late “off” by Max Girado in his Ferrari 250 GT and contained not only numerous Astons and Jags but the unique Bentley R-Type “Gooda” Special. Next up was the Sears Trophy which saw the continuation of the period battle between the older, larger and more powerful cars such as the Mark 2 Jaguars and the more nimble Ford Cortinas and Minis. No real surprise, with the élan that they were driven, that it was a Mini in the hands of Nick Swift who took the flag from the Cortina of Neil Brown. The Clark-Stewart Cup was an interesting time capsule where the race, as often in period, was a mix of F1,2 and 3 machinery and it was not a pukka F1 car that won, it was the Cooper T71/73 with it’s 4 cylinder Ford engine that claimed victory for Sam Wilson, almost 20 seconds to the good from the Lotus 24 BRM of Paul Drayson.

Andrew Beaumont in a Lotus 24



  For many the highlight was the Grover-Williams Trophy which saw the largest gathering of pre-war Bugattis since God alone knows when with 25 of the beautiful little beasties taking the start. but the race descended into a very easy win for Charles Knill-Jones in a T35B once the much bigger T59/50 of Gunther Krumpl pulled out with low fuel pressure. It was hard to know if it was the thundering sound of the winning Kurtis 500S of Geraint Owen or the lovely Mercedes 300SL Gullwing (lent out by the Mercedes Museum) driven with his usual panache by Jochen Mass was the best bit of the Peter Collins Trophy but I’ll go with the Merc – just.


 The thundering Chevy Camaro almost won


  The second Gerry Marshall Trophy race should have been an easy win to the Chevrolet Camaro Z28 of Stuart Graham and Nigel Garrett however a stuff-up over the timing of the mandatory pitstop which meant a drive through penalty and saw the Rover 3500 SDI of Chris Ward and Andrew Smith again hold out the Ford Capri of Emanuele Pirro and John Young by just over a second.


 Who could resist a Ford GT40 squabble?




My personal favourite was the Surtees Trophy for the “big banger” sports prototypes of the mid sixties with a brace of Ford GT40s battling it out with the Lola T70s and early McLarens. Eventually the McLaren M1B Chevy of Chris Goodwin took the honours from Jon Minshaw’s Lola T70 Spyder in what can only be described as the best aural experience short of a Formula 5000 race. The Brabham Trophy may have been won by Gary Pearson’s BRM P25 after Roger Wills Cooper T51 broke it’s transmission on the final lap but it was the sublime Maserati 250Fs duelling away that was a sight to behold. There were no fewer than six of the type in the race although unfortunately the V12 version did not take the start. And finally the Salvadori Cup saw the usual titanic tussle between the Listers, Lotus’s, D Type Jags, Ferrari Testarossas and Maserati Birdcages before finally Andrew Smith in a Lister Knobbly Chevrolet took the weekends last victory.


 Or that of Maserati 250Fs?


  Another triumph for the organisers from the GRRC which I am sure will build as big a reputation in time as the Revival meeting and the Festival of Speed and give Lord March and his gang the three most prestigious historic race meetings in the world each year. Once the word gets out just how good a weekend this was I can’t see this years slow ticket sales being repeated. It’s possibly a pity as that means the crowds will get bigger and the ease of movement and access created by the smaller crowd was one of the reasons I will be more likely to go all the way back to another Members Meeting than the Revival in the future.




  Goodwood on a sunny day – just bliss.


 Bentley Type-R Gooda Special










The start of the Grover-Williams Trophy












Ferrari 246S Dino












Spectacular dusk racing with the Lotus 11 Breadvan













Jochen Mass in the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing












Sam Snape








  Well here we are three races into the new season and what are the headlines about? The super form of Mercedes Grand Prix? The quality of the racing throughout the field as drivers struggle to tame the excess of power from the new generation of turbo engines? That Daniel Ricciardo has generally been on top at Red Bull over Vettel? The aesthetics of the mandrils ar…err…nose cones or the stupidity of the double points rule for the final race? No, none of the above. But because Bernie wants to back up his mate Ron Walker, who is really about the only one who has complained, all we hear about is the supposed lack of noise from the current F1 engines. Here’s a tip guys. You put a turbo on an engine it IS going to be quieter because the exhaust gasses are now doing something useful instead of just blasting out into the atmosphere. Here’s another tip, as most of the viewers of F1 watch it on TV, they don’t actually care that the sound has dropped by 10-15 decibels. And when a single engine is punching out about 110 decibels and there are 22 of them it is still plenty loud if you are at the track.


 Hamilton and Rosberg battle for the lead in Bahrain


  Personally I enjoy being able to tell one engine from another just from the sound again. You haven’t been able to do that since everyone had to go down the V10 route all those years ago. I recall back in ‘95 at Adelaide turning up on the Friday morning a little late and the morning practice had just begun. There was a chap just standing in the middle of the infield park, with his eyes closed, just listening to the glorious sound of the Ferrari V12. Not just that it sounded so much better than the V10s of Renault and Mercedes et al but we all sadly knew we would never hear its like again. And it sounded different. Then they all became V10s. And then V8s. And they all sounded like over-amplified Japanese buzz-boxes, all the same. Loud – yes, but boring as hell. A few years ago I almost went to sleep during one Australian Grand Prix. The sound was (again) loud but boring. The racing was processional and boring. There was no chance that anyone was going to retire from a mechanical failure (with the revs capped the V8s were just about bullet proof) and as the drivers were just circulating with little hope of passing they weren’t really pushing so there was bugger all chance of any of them making a mistake. From memory all but two finished and pretty much in the order they started. Snooooooooore….




  And now here we are in a brave new world where these power units (it’s not just the engine any more) are pumping out more grunt, especially out of the corners, than the grip available so the cars are stepping out at every opportunity. The drivers are struggling to control the cars once again. Those who have a more sensitive backside, more instinctive car control, are showing their genius. You can tell from the sound one engine from another. Engine power has once again become a performance differentiator (which they bloody well should be – F1 is NOT a spec series) and with the cars no longer running on rails you can actually get passing on the track (Yes - even at Albert Park) without the dangerous situation that Pirelli was put in last year with their “designed to degrade” tyres. OK so far no-one has gotten near the Sliver Slings but even they are putting on a good show, and think about it, just how many cars did Valtteri Bottas pass at Albert Park? He alone probably put on more overtaking moves in one race than in the all the Grand Prixs held at that venue. F1 is alive again. Exciting, unpredictable (except for the Mercs but not even they will finish all the time) Visually spectacular – imagine the fun if it is wet at Monaco - and still pretty loud. Bernie – don’t sweat the small shit…




  I said before the season that Mercedes were quietly ominous, not so quietly anymore is it? Three from three and barring a $1 rubber spark plug cover it would have been three 1-2s from three. But while on the surface of it that may seem dull their two drivers, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have been at it like alley cats. I will need to watch it again to tell just how many times Rosberg got past Hamilton in Bahrain only to run a touch wide and have the Brit steal the lead back. Despite having the team boss come over the radio to tell both to “bring the car home” they continued to battle it out with some of the most thrilling side by side racing seen in many years. And not just for the spectators, the excitement and adrenalin was clearly still bubbling away in the drivers as they talked it over and joked around before the podium ceremony. It was also good to see the public backing both got from Mercedes manager, Niki Lauda, for racing so hard. Let us hope that it continues but maybe not until the final race. It would be a horrible shame if the title was decided by one or the other picking up more points in that race than would be awarded elsewhere.


 Riccardo was briefly a podium place getter in Australia


  The pick of the rest so far is still Red Bull. When they are finishing or not being disqualified that is. And a pleasant surprise is just how much Vettel is struggling with his new team-mate. Only in Malaysia has the reigning champion gotten the better of Ricciardo and he had no answer to the young Aussie’s pace at either Albert Park or Bahrain. The appeal for Ricciardo’s disqualification in Australia will be heard on Monday and Red Bull are confident that they will have his second place restored. Ricciardo was excluded after the fuel-flow sensor on his car indicated that he had consistently breached the maximum 100kg/h fuel-flow limit. Red Bull argues, however, that the fuel-flow sensor was faulty and that it had no choice but to use its own data instead. Red Bull also claims that a technical directive issued by the FIA in early March outlining when teams would be allowed to base readings on their own data holds no regulatory value and therefore it fully complied with the regulations regarding fuel-flow limits. If they are successful it will put Ricciardo up into third place in the drivers standings with 30 points and Red Bull second in the constructors standings with 53.




  Another pleasant surprise is that Force India are currently second in the constructors championship and on merit. Hulkenberg has been consistently scoring points while Sergio Perez must be glad McLaren sacked him as in Bahrain he picked up the team’s first podium since Giancarlo Fisichella’s second place at Spa in 2009. Just how many times did a Force India pass a Ferrari in Bahrain? There’s the beauty of an engine being a “performance differentiator” again. Using the Mercedes engine has allowed a relatively small team to battle with, and defeat the giants. But just having a Mercedes engine will not guarantee you top billing. McLaren, despite the podium places (one of which they may lose on Monday if Red Bull win their appeal) at Albert Park have been underwhelming since. Williams, despite the occasional flash of real pace have been in the lower half of the top ten finishers so far but are at least scoring regular points, which is a vast improvement over the last few years and hints of promise to come. A return to the top by Frank’s team would be welcomed by just about all, even by some of his opponents. And wouldn’t it be great to see those Martini stripes taking the chequered flag once more?

Those beautiful Martini stripes



  Those with Ferrari engines are struggling for straight line speed, including the red ones. Ferrari haven’t had a sniff of a podium yet while Sauber is not much further up the grid than Marussia. Ferrari’s horses just aren’t prancing at the moment and they have a lot of work to do. It may be early but I’m starting to think they can kiss this year goodbye already. Kimi, King Fernando and the tifosi must be hoping some Maranello magic is just around the corner. Renault seem to be overcoming their pre-season horrors and would appear to have the second best engine at the moment. Or perhaps just another piece of Adrian Newey genius is making it look so. In the hands of the Red Rag boys and to a lesser extent their Toro Rosso cousins they have at least been knocking on the outside gate with both Ricciardo and Vettel standing on a podium while Vergne and Kvyat have been pinching some early points. Lotus are only just getting to the point that their car will get to the finish of a race and with a best grid placing of 15th are yet to better that of perennial back-markers Caterham, who got Kobayashi to 14th on the grid at Albert Park. Team Enstone, like Ferrari, have a hell of a lot of work to do and it’s never nice to see names such as Ferrari and Lotus not near the top of the time sheets.




For full results go to;




Sam Snape












  Ah well, the pre-season testing is drawing to a close in sunny Bahrain where the weather is just a bit warmer than where most of the F1 workers hail from. I noticed it was a barmy 2 in London the other day. Some sort of order is appearing, which will please some but not others. Some that will not be happy are the true fans who have made it quite clear just what they think about this stupid double points issue and those, well unique, nose cones. Sometimes it’s hard to tell a F1 nose from a mandril’s arse.

 A Formula 1 nose cone

  Testing has suggested that if you have German power behind you, you will be at the pointy end, if you have Italian you will be in that sqidgy middle bit while the French are finding it all a bit hard at the moment. Even on the penultimate day of running Red Bull could not put in a single full lap with Herr Vettel spending three hours in the pits before coasting to a halt on his installation lap with electrical ”ishoos” and on his second attempt in the afternoon the Red Rag cried enough before it even got out of the pit lane. Ricciardo showed the car has basic pace with his time on Friday but they have still not managed a race simulation. Even Caterham and Marussia have done vastly more mileage than the reining champions.


  Meanwhile the Mercedes powered squads are jockeying amongst each other to be the pre-season champions. McLaren started quickly but have been not seemingly improving at the pace of its peers while Williams and |Force India have leapt to the front in the last couple of days. If that order is real then Sergio Perez, who set the best time on both Thursday and Friday, will not be able to get the grin off his dial for weeks. Massa and Bottas have both been rapid in the Williams while the Mercedes pair of Rosberg and Hamilton are just looking quietly ominous.


  In the Italian camp it’s hard to tell if the horse is prancing or limping as, although Kimi and King Fernando have been racking up decent mileage they have never been quite at the front. Not far back, but more than you would expect they would like. Marussia has surprised so far as the second best Ferrari powered car, again getting in some good distance and often even their times have been better than Sauber who are struggling with any number of problems, most often the new braking by wire set-up.

A Mandril's Arse?


  And the Renault boys… None of them have done a race run. Only Ricciardo has been able to put in a half way decent time as they are all having problems with the “power-unit”, mostly to do with overheating and power-recovery from the batteries. Caterham, quite possibly the most hideous of this years cars, has been the only one to be able to put some good mileage in, although as Kamui Kobayashi pointed out, they’d be better off bringing a GP2 car to Melbourne. Lotus struggle to get past 30-odd laps per day and are not showing any real pace while Toro Rosso are at best somewhere in the middle of times and laps and Sebastian Vettel has regularly been sitting at the bottom of the time-sheets because he has been regularly sitting on his bottom in the pits while the Red Rag boys try to find ways to cool the car.


  In other news from ‘round the traps Jacques Villeneuve (who will be joining Petter Solberg in the World Rally Cross championship) has been signed by Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to do the Indy 500 which will pit him against his old mate Juan Pablo Montoya who has rejoined the series with Penske and all those young whippersnappers like Dixon, Power and Briscoe. And dual Olympic gold medallist Alessandro Zanardi will be back behind the wheel this year in a modified BMW in the Blancpain GT championship. Best of British to the lot of them.


  And finally – speaking of British – when the Malaysian Grand Prix comes around you will need to wait for a bit for the results etc as I will be joining some other hardy folk at the 72nd Goodwood Members Meeting. Considering their weather at the moment perhaps I can win for the house in swimming, I am Australian after all and there is a lot of water lying about down around those parts. Snow too, according to the MET but it is supposed to get up to a barmy 8 or 9 degrees by the end of March. Just a bit down on the 30 odd here in Sydney. Maybe I won’t go swimming after all…..


Sam Snape











Once upon a time the F1 silly season was just that – silly. Lots of absurd rumours of driver a going to team b who would be using engine c and tyres d. Whose dramatic testing time was down to running 200 kg under-weight or what bizarre plan Bernie had to spice up the show. Remember scrapping points and awarding Olympic style medals any-one?


  Of course every now and then one of these proved to be true. A six wheel Tyrrell, or March, or Williams? Keke Who? will drive the six wheel Williams??? Emerson Fittipaldi is quitting McLaren to drive the Copersucar? Ferrari are singing up that pay driver Lauda?? Brabham are switching to Pirelli? Alesi’s Prost broke the Catalunya record by how much? Oh that’s right – about 50kg.


  This year how-ever most of the driver moves were known before last season ended as were the chassis/engine combinations and just a few drivers were chasing a rapidly diminishing number of seats. So there was no fun to be had there. Most of the rumours were based on which team needed the most cash from the remaining list of available talent. Kimi after all, still hadn’t been paid by Lotus for 2013 when they signed Pastor for 2014. And his PDVSA millions. Lotus’ talks with potential backers, Quantum Motorsports drag on and on seemingly without the horizon in sight leaving the ultra talented Nico Huklenberg one of those fighting for the scraps instead of a possible championship. But this has all unfolded now so a list of who is where later.


  As for Bernie’s bizarre ideas? Well allocating double points to the season finale in Abu Dhabi seemed like just another head-line grabber during the quiet winter months. But then it got officially accepted by the powers that be and so a dull race on a dull circuit that no-one goes to watch is now more important than the likes of Monaco, Monza, Spa or Suzuka. God give us strength (or a bullet) in a tight championship someones conservative run to third place in Abu Dhabi will count for more than winning at Silverstone, or Austin, or anywhere else for that matter. All to solve a problem that no-one else thinks exists. To quote Pink Floyd, it “fills me with the urge to defecate”.


  As for Bernie, we may not have to put up with this nonsense much longer as the courts in Munich have decided that he has a case to answer regarding bribery claims relating to his sale of the sport to CVC in 2006. One would think that as the chap who accepted the alleged bribe, Gerard Gribkowsky, has already confessed and been sentenced to jail that Bernie might be struggling to convince the judges that it was not a bribe, but a blackmail payment as he has claimed. He may have a lot of clout in the paddock but I wouldn’t expect there to be much carry-over to the less fawning Munich judiciary. In the interim, Bernie will continue to run the day-to-day aspects of the sport but has had to stand down as a member of the CVC board. There is more speculation as to who will ultimately replace Bernie than any of the drivers….



  As most of you are aware former champion Michael Schumacher had a skiing accident on December 29, striking his head on a large rock. He was still conscious when medical help arrived, although not very coherent, but by the time he was being airlifted to the local hospital he lost consciousness and was flown straight to the neurological unit at Grenoble where he underwent an emergency operation to relieve the swelling on his brain. He was placed in an induced coma and underwent further surgery a week or so later and remains in a stable but critical condition. Much has been written about this by well meaning press and other medical specialists but not by anyone who has any direct connection with his medical team so it is mostly just speculation. My only thought on the medical side is that as it has now been four weeks with no announcement of any improvement then his recovery, if it occurs, will be a long and difficult one. You will probable all know my feelings about his driving standards, but this is not something that we would wish on anyone and our thoughts are with Michael and especially his family as they face an uncertain future.


  Condolences also go to the family of Jenson Button, whose father John, passed away aged 70 from a suspected heart attack at his home in Southern France on January 12. Not only was he a widely popular figure in the F1 paddock as he supported the efforts of Jenson but had a fairly successful career as a rally-cross driver in the mid seventies.

He will be missed by many.


  As previously mentioned all the driver positions have been filled and barring another Luiz Razia type situation the full list of championship entries that will take to the grid in Melbourne is as follows;



1 Sebastian Vettel                                 Red Bull RB10 Revault V6 Turbo

3 Daniel Ricciardo                                Red Bull RB10 Revault V6 Turbo

Test & Reserve Driver

Sebastien Buemi                                   Red Bull RB10 Revault V6 Turbo



  6 Nico Rosberg                                  Mercedes W05            Mercedes V6 Turbo

44 Lewis Hamilton                                Mercedes W05            Mercedes V6 Turbo

Test & Reserve Driver

Paul di Resta                                        Mercedes W05            Mercedes V6 Turbo



  7 Kimi Raikkonen                               Ferrari F14T                Ferrari V6 Turbo

14 Fernando Alonso                             Ferrari F14T                Ferrari V6 Turbo

Test & Reserve Driver

Pedro de la Rosa                                  Ferrari F14T                Ferrari V6 Turbo



  8 Romain Grosjean                             Lotus E22                    Renault V6 Turbo

13 Pastor Maldonado                           Lotus E22                    Renault V6 Turbo



20 Kevin Magnussen                            McLaren MP4/29        Mercedes V6 Turbo

22 Jenson Button                                  McLaren MP4/29        Mercedes V6 Turbo

Test & Reserve Driver

Stoffel Vandoorne                                 McLaren MP4/29        Mercedes V6 Turbo

Gary Paffett                                          McLaren MP4/29        Mercedes V6 Turbo

Oliver Turvey                                       McLaren MP4/29        Mercedes V6 Turbo



11 Sergio Perez                                    Force India VJM07      Mercedes V6 Turbo

27 Nico Hulkenberg                             Force India VJM07      Mercedes V6 Turbo

Test & Reserve Driver

Daniel Juncadella                                  Force India VJM07      Mercedes V6 Turbo



21 Esteban Gutierrez                            Sauber C33                  Ferrari V6 Turbo

99 Adrian Sutil                         Sauber C33                  Ferrari V6 Turbo

Test & Reserve Driver

Guido van der Garde                            Sauber C33                  Ferrari V6 Turbo



25 Jean-Eric Vergne                             Toro Rosso STR9        Renault V6 Turbo

26 Daniil Kvyat                                    Toro Rosso STR9        Renault V6 Turbo



19 Felipe Massa                                   Williams FW36            Mercedes V6 Turbo

77 Valtteri Bottas                                 Williams FW36            Mercedes V6 Turbo



  4 Max Chilton                                    Marussia MR03           Ferrari V6 Turbo

17 Jules Bianchi                                    Marussia MR03           Ferrari V6 Turbo



  9 Marcus Ericsson                            Caterham CT05           Renault V6 Turbo

10 Kamui Kobayashi                          Caterham CT05           Renault V6 Turbo

Test & Reserve Driver 

Robin Frijns                                     Caterham CT05           Renault V6 Turbo

Alexander Rossi                               Caterham CT05           Renault V6 Turbo


Welcome back Kamui.

Testing starts in Jerez tomorrow.

Does anyone else think the McLaren looks a bit like the Batmobile from front on? Bruce Wayne on the Melbourne grid?



Sam Snape





Students from two schools, 3000 kilometres apart, proved that distance is no barrier to success in the F1 in Schools™World Finals 2013. A1 Racing, an in-country collaboration F1 in Schools team, beat 37 student teams today to lift the Bernie Ecclestone F1 in Schools World Champions trophy above their heads as the anthem,  ‘Rule the world’  reverberated through the room, confetti showered the winners and the Australian flag was raised behind them as they celebrated their success. 

 Australia - World F1 in Schools champions again

A1 Racing, a team of six students from Pine Rivers State High School, Queensland and Phoenix P-12 Community College, Ballarat, Victoria, worked hard to achieve their dream of taking the F1 in Schools World Champions title. They had earned their place at the event after success in the Australian National Finals earlier this year and as well as claiming victory were presented with the Fastest Car Award. Joining A1 Racing on the podium this evening were the runners-up from USA, Allegiance Racing from SoutheastHigh School, and Unlimited Acceleration from Lessing-Gymnasium Winnenden, in Germany, stood in third place.


Taking the World Champions title was a proud moment for A1 Racing with Jacqueline Cunninghame, Team Manager saying, “We can’t believe we won, it’s just amazing. There were so many good teams, it was really tough, so we’re really happy to have won this. It means everything to us.”


For one team member, Dylan Sexton, celebrations had to be put on hold as he was forced to return to his hotel room to sit a Business Management exam minutes after the team received the trophy. “I’m already 12 minutes late,” said the 17 year old student, “so I’ll have to celebrate later”.


F1 in Schools challenges students to create their own Formula One team which is commissioned to design, manufacture  and race the fastest miniature Formula One Car of the Future; a 21cm long scale model designed using 3D solid modelling software and machined from a block of balsa wood, incorporating 3D print technology in its front and rear wings. The F1 in Schools World Champions not only win the glass Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy but also coveted Motorsport and Automotive Engineering Scholarships for City University London.


At the World Finals each team brought along a pit display, their cars and portfolio, as well as having prepared a verbal presentation for the judges. The cars were raced on a 20 metre track, with the cars covering the distance in just over one second, a speed barrier which 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.

Andrew Denford, Founder and Chairman, F1 in Schools said of this year’s World Finals, “I’m always blown away by the professionalism, innovation, engineering capabilities and overall dedication shown by the World Finals teams. This year there was an incredibly high standard of work and it made it very difficult to judge. A1 Racing shone out from their rivals and deserved all their success and the World Champions title.”


“But it is not only the academic excellence that we have seen at the World Finals,” adds Denford. “F1 in Schools changes lives around the world and these boys and girls will have formed friendships which will last a lifetime. I know that they will all have learned life skills which will be invaluable throughout their careers and I’m very proud to have been able to give these great students this opportunity.”


A1 Racing’s Ben Marshall is an example of just how life-changing F1 in Schools can be. The 17 year old is a lifelong sufferer of High Function Autism Asperger’s Syndrome , he says, “I couldn’t really talk to people, approach people or introduce myself to people, but being  in the competition and learning all the new skills, it has given me so much confidence – I just want to talk to everyone, it has just changed my life, I love my life now.”


In addition to the crowning of the F1 in Schools World Champion 2013, 20 awards were presented in a variety of categories.


Full list of awards:

World Champions supported by Formula One Management and City University London

A1 Racing, PineRiversStateHigh School & Phoenix P-12 Community College, Australia


2nd Place supported by Circuit of The Americas

ALLEGIANCE RACING, Southeast High School, USA


3rd Place supported by The IET

Unlimited Acceleration, Lessing-Gymnasium Winnenden, Germany


FIA Women in Motorsport Award supported by FIA Women in Motorsport Commission

Alyssa Cote & Merritt Kendzior from ALLEGIANCE RACING, Southeast High School, USA


Verbal Presentation Award supported by Williams

Vector One, Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School, Canada


Innovative Thinking Award supported by Lotus F1 Team

Safire Blue Bullets Racing, GermanInternationalSchool, Dubai, Greece & UAE


Fastest Car Award supported by Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team

A1 Racing, PineRiversStateHigh School & Phoenix P-12 Community College, Australia


Team Identity Award supported by Ferrari

Lone Star Racing, Akins High School & Granbury High School, USA


The Best International Collaboration Team Award supported by Shell

Odyssey, Brighton Secondary School & Donabate Community College, Australia & Ireland


Outstanding Sportsmanship Award supported by Sahara Force India

ALLEGIANCE RACING, Southeast High School, USA


Best Engineered Car Award supported by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Bardahl Racing, St. David's Holy Faith Secondary School, Ireland


Chair of Judges Recognition of Achievement Award supported by Infiniti Red Bull Racing

X-Shift, Raffles Girls' School & WilmingtonGrammar School for Boys, Singapore & UK


Best  Newcomer Award supported by Sauber F1

Team Bolt, Amity International School, India


Pit Display Award supported by Toro Rosso

Motion Racing, Engadine High School, Australia


Team Sponsorship & Marketing Award supported by Marussia F1 Team

Petronas Tritan Racing, SMS Hulu Selangor, Malaysia


Portfolio Award supported by F1 Racing

Odyssey, Brighton Secondary School & Donabate Community College, Australia & Ireland


Research and Development Award supported by Pirelli

Surge, Mönchsee-Gymnasium & Colégio de S. Miguel, Germany & Portugal


Social Media Award supported by Caterham F1 Team

Adroit Infinitum, The IndianHigh School, Dubai, UAE


Team Website Award supported by Autodesk

Speed Deamons, Ellinogermaniki Agogi, Greece


The Crofty & Gary Pressure Challenge Award supported by Crofty & Gary

Safire Blue Bullets Racing, GermanInternationalSchool, Dubai, Greece & UAE


The F1 in Schools World Finals 2013 took place with the assistance of a host of sponsors and supporters including Circuit of The Americas, The Institution of Engineering and Technology, City University London, Autodesk and Austin Independent Schools District.


Article courtesy of Alison Hill ID PR & Marketing Ltd/FIA