1. Team Name
Union Racing International
2. Explain how you chose your team name
Union Racing International is an international collaboration of two teams from distinctly different countries. One team is from Europe, located in the North East of Germany. The other team is from the North East coast of the United States of America. “Union” represents the joining together of the two teams who are physically distanced by 3,700 miles/6,000km, speak different languages and have different cultures, yet they are united in their passion for racing and competing. The name also gives reference to the German automotive industry and one of the first companies called Auto Union.
3. Country/s represented
Germany and the United States of America
4. School/s represented
Lexington High School and Alexander-von-Humboldt High School
5. Town of School(s)
Lexington, MA & Greifswald, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
6. Number of males / Number of females on team
6 males (5 supporting males and 2 supporting females)
7. Teams Facebook page
8. Teams Twitter handle
9. Teams website
10. Briefly outline the history of your team
Union Racing International is a young team in many aspects. As a collaboration team we were only formed in July 2015 following the F1 in Schools USA National Competition when LexGP were invited by the judges to compete in the World Finals 2015 alongside another international team. LexGP immediately went into action to find a team to collaborate with. Lex GP partnered with Pursue from the North East of Germany to form the collaboration team Union Racing International.
LexGP itself is also a fledgling team. In 2013, George Britton formed the LexGP F1 in Schools team as an extracurricular club at his high school, Lexington High School in Massachusetts, USA. This is the first F1 in Schools team in the New England region of the United States. Britton gained the approval of the school, recruited a teacher as an advisor, and peers as student members for the club. Lexington High School is an academically focused high school and does not have any technical training or manufacturing capabilities. LexGP successfully competed in the F1 in Schools USA National Competition 2014 and won a special award: ‘2014 Rookie of the Year.’
Likewise, the The F1 in Schools team Pursue (Alexander-von-Humboldt-Gymnasium Greifswald) was only founded in May 2014. The team came together following the F1 in Schools German National Competition in 2014. Devansh Dhard, Luca Fleßa and Malte Langosch of the junior Team Flash, which took second place in Germany, and Kasper Sunn Pedersen and Christian Krüger from the senior team Bionic Solution, which raced the fastest car, make up Pursue’s members. Highly motivated, Pursue wanted to build a team with a new dream of reaching the World Finals. Pursue won first place at the Regional competition and qualified for the Nationals. At the National Finals 2015 Pursue was awarded best oral presentation, and came fourth overall. Pursue was then invited to join a collaboration team to attend the World Finals.
11. F1 in Schools achievements so far (i.e. Nat champions, other awards etc.)
Lex GP: Rookie of the Year 2014, 4th place 2015
Pursue: Best Presentation award 2015, 4th place 2015
12. Describe your team in three words
13. What do you think makes your World Final team unique from other teams?
- We are unique in that both teams in the collaboration have only been competing for a very short amount of time.
- Our team will never have met before the World Finals, however through technology we have built a strong working relationship.
- We are also unique in that one half of our team, from the USA, is student-led.
- We are unique in that we have to overcome obstacles such as language barriers, physical distance, and time differences as we work together to be successful at the World Finals.
- We have to be creative in how we communicate.
- We are international beyond the countries where we live - American, English, Danish, Indian, Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean.
14. Magic moment - What has been the most exciting F1 in Schools experience your team has had so far?
The magic moment for our team(s) was qualifying for the World Finals and being invited to form a collaboration team.
For LexGP, the American half of our collaboration team, the magic moment came after all the awards had been handed out at the USA National Competition. To the dismay of the team, LexGP did not win a specific award. However, their disappointment turned to excitement when the judges announced they had qualified for the World Finals.
For Pursue, the German half of our collaboration team, the magic moment came days after the German National Competition. Although Pursue won Best Oral Presentation, they were disappointed not to have been placed in the top three winners. However, to their surprise, their teacher received a short text message a few days later from the ICC (In Country Coordinator) saying “Do you guys wanna make a collaboration?”
The additional magic moment for both two teams was knowing they were working together.
15. We can laugh now - Tell us about one of your team’s funniest moments, maybe it wasn't so funny at the time!
One of our funniest moments was explaining the American slang term “food baby” and translating it into German, “Essen Schwangerschaft.” Most of the time we work seriously and diligently together. Sometimes, the pressure of competing in such a prestigious competition and our desire to do well means we are very tense. Often our cultural differences create confusion. Resolving conflicts has been something we have had to learn to do. Communicating an unknown phrase with an unusual explanation relieves these tensions. Introducing our German colleagues to a new term in the English language lightens the mood.
16. What is the biggest challenge in this competition?
Our biggest challenge is communicating in different languages across different time zones. Although, George Britton, has been learning German at high school for the last four years, no other members of the USA team understands German. Therefore, we rely on our German counterparts to use their English language skills to communicate with us.
Receiving a Skype call from Germany at 6am in the morning, mid-day in Germany, is a challenge for any teenager during his summer vacation.
17. What are you most looking forward to at the WFs?
We are looking forward to meeting the other members of our collaboration team and finally being able to compete together. We are looking forward to experiencing the excellence of this global STEM competition and meeting members from Formula 1 teams.
18. What are your expectations for the WFs?
We are proud of our success as individual teams, especially since both teams were formed only a short time ago. Our expectation is that together we will be even more successful as, despite our differences in language, location, and culture we are eager to build a competitive car and team that makes us winners.
19. Do you watch/are you interested in F1? Who’s your favourite driver(s)?
It’s got to be Lewis Hamilton. We also admire Jenson Button.