A talented Kenilworth teenager is in pole position after her team won the national championships of a Formula One competition.
Abi Hirons is a member of Academy Racing, a four-strong team heading to the F1 in Schools world championships in Malaysia after being named the best in the country at the UK final at Silverstone.
The 16-year-old student from WMG Academy for Young Engineers, based in Mitchell Avenue near Warwick University, said: “When we won I was shocked. Then after the shock wore off I realised that what we’d achieved was absolutely amazing.
“I’m really looking forward to going to the world championships in Malaysia. My parents are very excited about the whole thing - my mum started crying when I told her we’d won at Silverstone.”
The F1 in Schools challenge involves students from all over the globe competing 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 over 50mph over a 20m track.
Abi was originally considering a career in biomedical science, but following her success as part of WMG Academy’s F1 in Schools team, she is now hoping to look into a career in engineering.
She joined Academy Racing when they were one member short, and was delighted to be accepted as part of the team. She said: “I really wanted to be part of it but I thought I’d missed my chance because it was full, so I was really happy when I found out they needed another person.
“It’s been a very different and interesting experience and I’ve learnt a lot.”
Abi previously attended Park Hill School and Kenilworth School but now travels from her Kenilworth home to Coventry to attend WMG Academy for Young Engineers.
As well as the national title, Academy Racing (made up of Abi and team mates Callum Kennedy, Elias Khimasia and Eddie Hodierne from Coventry) also won the trophy for the fastest car.
The winning team received support and sponsorship from over 15 local businesses including Autins, Cov Con, Coventry University, GRM, High Profile, I2m, JLR, Lear, LTF, Squires Gears, Suretrack, WMG, WMG Academy, Warwick EDM and the University of Warwick.
Abi and her team now need to raise £12,000 to fund the trip to the world final in Kuala Lumpur in October. To offer donations or sponsorship contact the academy at firstname.lastname@example.org