Speed, drama and a thrilling podium finish brought Formula 1 to life for school boys and girls taking part in a competition.
Balsa wood scale model cars reached speeds of 20m a second as they whizzed down a race track in front of a crowd of cheering fans.
The contest was the culmination of months of hard work for budding engineers from the region’s secondary schools and the winners and runners up in yesterday’s competition will now go onto the national final.
Emmanuel College student Declan Southern, 15, from Low Fell in Gateshead, led his school team Shockwave to victory in the F1 race class.
He said: “It’s been about prototyping and manufacturing an F1 car. Our technology teacher encouraged us to do it two years ago and now we have produced an F1 team we are proud of.”
Fellow team member James Rodger, 15, from East Boldon, said the team dedicated five nights a week to the project and they were now looking forward to the national final at the Big Bang science fair in Birmingham in March.
He said: “It’s helped with learning how to do a presentation and I’ve learnt how to use Photoshop and I’ve done more public speaking so we’ve all got a lot more confidence from the project.”
The prestigious F1 In Schools tournament was supported this year by the new Discovery School, which is opening in Newcastle in September for budding teenage engineers.
The event at the Great North Museum, Newcastle, involved 14 schools and saw the F1 rookie prize go to team Nova Racing from the city’s Royal Grammar School, the ‘Bloodhound’ class first prize to St Bedes RC Comprehensive School in Peterlee and first prize to team ORKHID from Emmanuel College at Consett Road in Gateshead.
In the F1 category runners up prize went to Alpha Project from St Bedes RC Comprehensive and first prize went to team Shockwave from Emmanuel.
The 4 x 4 category rookie runner up prize went to St Leonard’s Catholic School in Durham and first prize went to Nelson Thomlinson in Wigton.