1. Team Name

Team AIB Racing

2. Explain how you chose your team name

Our team naming rights were awarded to our main sponsors in the run up to the National Finals, AIB. We used our naming rights as a marketing tool to entice sponsors to come on board.

3. Country/s represented

Republic of Ireland

4. School/s represented

St. Muredach's College

5. Town of School(s)

Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland.

6. Number of males /  Number of females on team

4 males

7. Teams Facebook page

Click here!

8. Teams Twitter handle

@teamaibracing

9. Teams website

Click here!

10. Briefly outline the history of your team

We became the first ever F1 in Schools entry from St. Muredach's College when we formed our team of four Transition Year students in September 2014. 

11. F1 in Schools achievements so far (i.e. Nat champions, other awards etc.)

  • At the Irish Western Regional Finals we secured the Fastest Car award, along with qualification to the National Finals. 
  • Best Newcomer at National Finals
  • Fastest Car at National Finals
  • We broke the Irish record for the fastest car in the history of the National Finals. 
  • We achieved second place overall, and were presented with the opportunity to travel to Singapore as one of Ireland's representatives.

12. Describe your team in three words 

Driven to win.

13. What do you think makes your World Final team unique from other teams?

Our team started out with no resources, previous experience of the competition or idea of what we had signed up for! However we worked hard and with the incredible support of the business community in the West of Ireland, we were able to develop Ireland's fastest ever F1 in Schools car. Since then, we have worked tirelessly to promote STEM and F1 in Schools in our region, introducing hundreds of school children to the world of science and engineering.

14. Magic moment - What has been the most exciting F1 in Schools experience your team has had so far?

The whole F1 in Schools experience has been an incredible experience filled with exhilarating, exciting and nervous moments. There are a number of experiences we could mention here, but we've selected the time we set the Irish national record time as our highlight. As one of the last cars to race that day, we knew that in order to achieve the fastest car award we needed to obtain a very good time. As we nervously placed the car on the track and ran our first race, it immediately struck us that we had a fast time. After a nervous second while we calculated the track time, there were celebrations and high fives all around. It soon dawned on us that we had set the fastest time of the day, later to be confirmed as an Irish record time.

15. We can laugh now - Tell us about one of your team’s funniest moments, maybe it wasn't so funny at the time!

Again, we had a tough time choosing this one - between late night stresses before the National Finals and making a small construction site at the Regionals, we chose our first experience of car scrutineering at our Regional Final. Our first ever F1 in Schools competition day and we weren't quite sure what to expect - which lead to an embarrassing yet funny experience! We handed up our car and about an hour later, the scrutineering judge picked up our car and began examining it. We nervously waited and wondered if we had made a mistake - and this was when we thought crisis struck. The judge applied a small sticker to the bottom of the car and made a note on it. As a total panic set gripped us we frantically searched the rule book and tried to make out what was written on car. We were tormented for about half an hour until we received our car to race. It was then we realised that the little note on the bottom of our car simply read... "Ok". 

16. What is the biggest challenge in this competition?

At the start of the competition, manufacturing resources and testing facilities were hard to come by - we had to drive for 6 hours to avail of a test track before the National Finals. The biggest challenge however was definitely self teaching ourselves the engineering and graphic design elements of the competition. Our team had no previous experience of working with CAD, CAM or CFD software, and had no guidance in learning how to use them. However we persevered and were determined to master those skills. We had a similar experience with Adobe Suite programs - however we again worked hard to teach ourselves and produce high quality work. This challenge was very difficult to overcome and it led to some stressful moments but it definitely benefited us in the end. Not only has being posed with such a challenge given us a range of new skills, we now we feel that no matter what difficulties we face, our determination and passion for achieving excellence can see us through.

17. What are you most looking forward to at the WFs?

Firstly, the opportunity to represent Ireland is a huge honour for us. We are extremely proud of where we come from and are determined to do ourselves, our school and our country proud when we travel to Singapore this September. We also hope to showcase the talent and passion that Irish young people have when it comes to science and technology.

We are also looking forward to meeting all the other teams, learning from them and getting the chance to do what we love on a world stage. We're extremely excited to be a part of this unique international event, and the opportunity to test ourselves against the brightest and best young engineers and executives from around the world is extremely exciting!

18. What are your expectations for the WFs?

We hope to build on our performance from the National Finals by hopefully breaking or coming very close to the world record time of 1.003 seconds. 

19. Do you watch/are you interested in F1?  Who’s your favourite driver(s)? 

Since the beginning of the competition, the team has developed a strong interest in F1 - to the point where we started analysing the British GP over Snapchat! We had the opportunity to meet Martin Biranne, owner of Lola Cars and Mondello Park, Ireland's only international race track, and view his collection of race cars (including cars from the Jordan F1 team and from Lola's infamous stint in F1 in 1997). This really ignited a passion for Formula One within us.

There was intense debate in the team over our favourite driver (we'll give an honourable mention to Valterri Bottas) however we finally decided on Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.