Cambridge crew's pole position for Singapore

PUPILS from Cambridge House Grammar School and their team counterparts from a school in Dundalk are revving up for the trip of a lifetime next month when they will attend the World Finals of the Formula 1 Schools' Challenge in Singapore.

Having won the National Finals, the boys, who are working together as the cross-border amalgamated ‘Team SIANIDE’, were awarded a trip to visit the Jaguar factory in Birmingham on July 17

Team SIANIDE formed as a collaborative effort from two schools on the Island of Ireland, one from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, with a view to competing at the F1 in Schools World Finals in September.

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F1 in Schools is a competition, open to all secondary schools, to design and manufacture compressed air-powered racing cars.

Student teams compete against each other in a National Championship to determine the best-engineered and fastest car. Those successful at the National Finals stage are invited to the World Finals.

A highlight of their journey in the competition so far was touring the Jaguar factory where they were shown around the current line up of the Jaguar range and invited to give their views on what they thought.

After a short video explaining the history of the company the team embarked on their tour of the manufacturing facilities from the assembly line of the Jaguar XJ, where the team witnessed the entire process of creating a car from start to finish where it was filled with petrol and driven from the factory.

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Of particular interest to the team was the riveting of the aluminium panels, as well as the concept of “just in time manufacturing”. The team were then escorted to the assembly line of the XK where they seen both coupe and convertible models being manufactured.

They were introduced to Adam Hatton who designed the Jaguar XJ and he gave the boys a slideshow presentation on the inspiration behind his design, themes he chose to inspire him, and the entire process of design he followed to see the project through to fruition.

The team were shown the initial sketches of the project as well as the clay models that resulted from these sketches.

Mr Hatton then invited the team to ask any questions. The team utilised this opportunity to ask the designer questions relating to their project, and the designer gave them some very useful information regarding improving the aero-dynamics and overall speed of the car the students are to design.

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They also visited the company museum where Gary Albrighton, retired Director of Special Vehicle Operations for Jaguar, shared some of his tales of the special vehicles he designed and prepared with his time with the company.

He showed the team around the XK 180, and XJ 220 concept cars, explaining the key design features and the logistics involved in creating a concept car. Mr Albighton also showed the team around some of the more popular cars he created such as the Jaguars used in the Austin Powers, and James Bond Die Another Day movies.

To top off the day the students were then invited for a test spin in a Jaguar XJ.

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