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Fast Triumph for WMG Academy as their F1 Team Win National Schools Competition

There were more celebrations at the WMG Academy for Young Engineers, Coventry this week as their F1 in Schools team were awarded the competition’s fastest car trophy in front of a packed audience at the Big Bang Fair at the NEC.

This national success followed on from earlier regional heats where the team came second and won a trophy for innovative thinking.

Having only opened in September 2014, the WMG Academy is already establishing itself as a winning school in the region with its Debate Team winning the Coventry City Council debating competition earlier on in the year.

The team comprised of four students: Corgan Farmer, Sommer McMillan, Eddie Hodierne and
Josh Barfield all currently in Year 10 who were supported by a range of WMG Academy teachers and technicians including: Mr Bob Hodges. Additionally, the team received sponsorship from Automotive Insulations Limited (Autins) and James Carden Engineering.

WMG Academy student Josh Barfield said: “We really enjoyed being in this competition – it was really hard work and this was part of our enrichment time, not our core lessons; so many of us wanted to be involved so we had an in-school competition to work out who could be on the team! It was a great opportunity to really test our design skills and we really wanted to prove we could design and build the fastest car!”

Principal Mrs Kate Tague said: “We are absolutely over the moon with this win. The team worked incredibly hard to get through the regional finals and then had a matter of weeks to get ready for the national heats – this was no small task as they had to prepare a portfolio of their work, prepare a 10 minute presentation, construct a pit-display, develop a logo and online presence AND of course manufacture a car!

“You need to bear in mind that these students hadn’t met before September, and hadn’t been in this competition before, so in the face of stiff competition from other teams, some more established, their win is a huge deal for us. The engineering and business aspects of this competition make it a perfect platform for our students.

“With such success this year, just imagine what we can achieve in year two! We’re just getting towards the end of our current recruitment cycle for 2015 and already have a host of applications from students wanting to study with us from Year 10 - I would imagine they will all be clamouring to take part in this competition next year!”

F1 in Schools is a challenge where students from over 40 countries compete for the Bernie Ecclestone F1 in Schools World Championship trophy. This involves using CAD/CAM computer software to design, analyse, manufacture, test and race miniature F1 cars. The cars are powered by a small CO2 cylinder and can reach speeds of 50mph over a 20m track. Not only is there is a rigorous set of technical regulations to follow but the students have to demonstrate the wider functions of a real F1 team, including all aspects of marketing and sponsorship.

The WMG Academy for Young Engineers is already over subscribed for year 12 entry in September 2015 with a waiting list, and there are only a handful of places left for year 10 entry – students wishing to study at the Academy should apply now via their local authority. More information on applying to study with the WMG Academy can be found on our website at

Academy racing team

Pictured are; L-R. Dave Bloxham, James Camden Engineering; Kate Tague, WMG Academy Principal, Sommer McMillan, Academy Racing; Philip Lowe, James Camden Engineering; Josh Barfield, Academy Racing; Corgan Farmer, Academy Racing; Jim Griffin, Autins Ltd; Eddie Hodierne, Academy Racing and Bob Hodge, WMG Academy Enrichment Technician.

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For more information please contact Alison Rowan, Communications Manager, University of Warwick on or by phone on 024 76 150423 or 07876 218166.