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    • AIRPORT HELPS LOCAL SCHOOL REACH POLE POSITION IN F1 COMPETITION

      Friday 24 Sep 2010

      A team of budding motorsport designers from Regent House in Newtownards flew to Singapore this weekend to rub shoulders with Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button thanks to backing from George Best Belfast City Airport.
       
      The airport is backing Team Carbon,made up of fifth year technology students, by donating £1,000 towards their trip to the F1 in Schools World Championships taking place 19-24 September.

      The F1 in Schools programme has been running for 10 years and involves over a million stduents in over 30 countries. Participants are required to design, construct and race a car of the future, made from a block of balsa wood, and powered by a compressed air canister. The car is raced over a 20 metre track and the fastest time is recorded.

      Team Carbon, which consists of Cameron Auld, Rebekah Cockerill, Johnny Burch, and Graham Reid, won the best engineered car and fastest car at the Regional Finals in the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. Team Carbon’s entry, which weighs just 55g, is 206mm in length and does 0-60 in the blink of an eye, was the desreving overall winner at this heat. The team were the top scoring for Northern Ireland at the NEC Birmingham in January and therefore qualified to represent the country at the World Championships in Singapore this week. Team Carbon will explain how their design works to judges, who include top names from Formula 1 racing and will then join thousands of other spectators at the Singapore Grand Prix.

      Michelle Hatfield, Corporate Social Responbility Director at George Best Belfast City Airport said:

      "To reach the World Championships of the competition is a fantastic achievement and we are delighted to help Team Carbon on their way to Singapore.

      “We are sponsoring Team Carbon through our Community Fund, which aims to support valuable community projects. We want to help young people develop their skills and this is certain to be an inspirational experience for them.

      “The team will be excellent ambassadors for their school and for Northern Ireland and we wish them every success.”

      Regent House technology teacher, Rob Coulter, who will accompany the team said:

      “This is an amazing opportunity for our students to showcase the school and Northern Ireland on the world stage and the financial help we have received from George Best Belfast City Airport will help us do that.

      “The students have been working on this project for two years and have shown a huge amount of dedication, even meeting several times a week over the summer.

      “Aside from the on-track action, they also have to produce supporting evidence of their design, develop a sponsorship and marketing campaign and produce team merchandise, so it has been great experience.”