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Comet Racing is keen to blaze trail in schools’ F1 competition

May 25th, 2023 12:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Comet Racing is keen to blaze trail in schools’ F1 competition Image

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A TEAM of transition year students from Bandon’s St Brogan’s College will take part in the national final of the F1 in Schools Competition at the end of the month.

F1 in Schools is an international STEM competition in which students have to design and manufacture a miniature F1 car using computer-aided design and manufacturing software. In addition, teams are required to promote their progress on social media platforms, design a pit display, showcase a strong team identity, make in depth portfolios and gain sponsorship so that all of their targets are made possible. Judging takes into consideration each of these elements.

St Brogan’s students Tomás Markey, Caoimhe Walsh, Saoirse O’Neill, Ryan O’Driscoll, Cathal Cronin and Luke Nixon came together to form Comet Racing and together they have made huge progress.

‘We began our journey last September when we met as a team for the first time,’ says team principal and design engineer Tomás Markey.

‘We were all very excited to set out on the journey towards the final as we all have a passion for engineering, enterprise and Formula 1.

‘Initial steps were determining our roles on the team based on everyone’s strengths and interests, outlining our team’s values, deciding on our sponsorship strategy and essentially planning how we were going to make our mission possible.’

On the sponsorship front, Comet were delighted to welcome Kehoane Readymix on board, all the more so as Michael Keohane competed in Formula 3.

‘We were delighted to see so many local businesses eager to support us,’ says Cathal Cronin, design and manufacturing engineer.

‘We all loved visiting the Innishannon plant recently and getting to chat to Michael Keohane, who runs the business, and hear about his personal experience with motorsport.’

In addition to Keohanes, support has been widespread from businesses in the area, as outlined by Ryan O’Driscoll, the team’s financial director and resource manager.

‘We were over the moon to also see the Cork ETB, Mavco Engineering, Finbarr Galvin Ltd, O’Mahony Pike Architects, ABEC357, ABP Food Group, McCarthy Mills, Miko Metals and AIB support us on our journey,’ he says.

‘Certainly, we wouldn’t have been able to come this far without the generosity of our manufacturing partner, Twomey Precision Engineering. We are delighted to see just how encouraging each of these enterprises have been to us throughout as well as all of the local businesses who made donations to our recent raffle.’

A key principal for Comet has been sustainability, as outlined by resource and outreach director, Saoirse O’Neill.

‘We have collaborated with Bandon Environmental Action Group from the start of our mission and consulted them with any queries we have about what we should do to improve on our sustainability initiatives,’ she says.

‘Our pit display featuring recyclable materials and our weekly “Sustainability Series” awareness posts on Instagram are just two of the steps we are taking to be a greener team.’

It all adds up to a well-run organisation, according to Caoimhe Walsh, the social media manager, marketing director and head of enterprise.

‘We have all strengthened our presentation skills, time management abilities and overall, got a great insight into what it is like to work in a real business,’ she says. ‘I would encourage all teenagers to get involved if given the opportunity.’

Comet have done well so far and design and graphical engineer Luke Nixon hopes there is more to come.

‘Our car is finally taking great shape, our pit display is in works, our team kit has arrived and our social media platforms are ever-growing,’ he says.

‘I can’t say everything just yet, but there are a lot of surprises we can’t wait to announce ahead of the finals!’

· See @sbccometracing on Instagram for more.

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