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By Micah Drew

Embracing the Challenge of F1 Racing


Drummond's F1 Racing Team

Carson Geary (right) working with one of his teammates.

Designing and building a car is hard. Designing and building a car that goes fast? Even harder.

Carson Geary loves that challenge. The Drummond High School sophomore from Ovando took part in his school's F1 in Schools competition for the second year.

The competition started in Montana three years ago. When Geary's science teacher Darcy Schindler mentioned the program in class, he was hooked.

"It was just the excitement of being able to race a car and going different places and getting to meet new people," said Geary.

F1 in Schools is an international STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) competition where students from 40 different countries team up to design and manufacture a CO2 powered car made of high-density foam. The cars compete on a 20-meter track and travel up to 45 miles per hour. The world record for an F1 car is .916 seconds, designed by a team in Australia.

Geary and his five teammates recently competed in the national competition in Austin, Texas June 8-10. His team earned the trip after finishing first at the Montana championships in April. Second and third place teams from Hot Springs and Simms also competed at nationals.

The competition involves more than just building a fast car. Teams treat it as though they are a true Formula One racing team and are required to acquire sponsorships, put together a marketing portfolio and have a pit display.

Judges look at the engineering, team identity, research and development, team sponsorship and marketing and verbal presentations to explain the process. The teammates each take charge of one area.

Geary was the resource manager-he made the verbal presentation and worked on the pit display. The display had an exploded version of the car, the sponsors and had two video presentations showing the creation process.

"Austin, Texas was definitely a new experience, especially coming from Ovando," Geary said. "We didn't do as well as we thought we would but that's ok. At least we got the chance to go."

Drummond's car, named Caravel, was clocked at 1.047 seconds at the Montana competition, but 1.321 seconds in Texas. They finished 12 out of 16 teams.

The time addition resulted from a change to their initial design in order to meet the required specs for nationals. They added to the width of the car which increased the weight.

Geary said their design was based on the car they built last year. Compared to last year's model, the Caravel was shorter and had a base weight 20 grams lighter than before.

Geary plans to take part in F1 in Schools next year but isn't sure what role he will choose.


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