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Schools : St. Gerald's College Last Updated: 2, Apr 2018 - 10:02

St. Gerald’s F1 Team Storm through Regional Finals
By Niall McCormick
31, Mar 2009 - 09:04

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West Coast Racers, the F1 in Schools team from St. Gerald's College, Castlebar, stormed through the Regional Finals held at the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown on Thursday, 19th March. The team managed to beat off stiff competition from 25 other teams from all over the country and picked up two awards on the day, one for Best Use of ICT and CAD and another for Best Team Website. The team, under the guidance of Mr. John Bones, then successfully qualified for the National Finals which will be held in Griffith College, Dublin, on the 28 April, 2009.
West Coast Racers at their display stand at the Regional Finals, left to right: Niall McCormick, Micheál Healy, Darren Brogan and Keith Derrig.

The day started off early with the team setting up their display at 8:00 am and the competition beginning at 9:00 am.  Over the course of the day, the team were examined by panels of judges on all aspects of the competition including engineering and design, marketing, a portfolio and a verbal presentation. They also did very well in their three races, beating the opposing team each time. This was mainly due to the lightning quick reflexes of Darren Brogan, achieving a reaction time of 0.06 seconds!

The whole team were overjoyed to reach the National Final stage, as Keith Derrig, team manager explained, “We are thrilled to be through to the National Finals. We now have the opportunity to really put our newfound skills to the test.”  Micheál Healy, Manufacturing Engineer, believed that, “The team performed well on the day and I’m looking forward to the challenge of a new car and the National Finals.” With the finals only weeks away there was no time for celebration and the team were immediately re-evaluating their work to date and identifying areas in which they can improve on for the finals. Darren Brogan, Design and Graphics Engineer, explains why they have decided to change the design of the car, “Our car performed well at the Regional Finals but we have decided to redesign it in order to get the most out of the race. The standards at the Nationals will be higher as we will be competing against the best teams from all over Ireland and so, we must up our game.”

The team relied almost entirely on sponsorship from local businesses for the funding for the competition. Niall McCormick, Marketing and Communications Manager said, “I would like to thank our five sponsors, Brogan Design & Fabrication, Cathal Duffy Ltd, Aniar Solutions, Togher Tyres and McHale Road Vets, for their continued support throughout the competition. We simply couldn’t compete in the competition without their support and assistance.”

The competition is an expensive venture and as the team have now qualified for the National Finals, they require the help of more sponsors. If you are interested in sponsoring the team, please email The team also has a website, on which you can find more information about the competition, the team and their sponsors.

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