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From Rivalry to Collaboration

Our Story – From Rivalry to Collaboration

It was the 2013 New South Wales State Finals. This final provided one of the most surprising results ever in the history of the Australian F1 in Schools Competition since its inception in 2003. For the first time in Australia, there was a tied result for first place. These teams that created this historic moment were Super Sonic Speed from Merewether High School and Celeritas from Barker College.

Super Sonic Speed were competing in their second successive State finals competition after taking part in 2012, in which they placed 3rd and with it, missing out on a chance to compete at the National Finals. However, they were lucky enough to compete at this state final after finishing 2nd at the Newcastle Regional Final in which they were only able to prevail with a wildcard entry. Celeritas meanwhile, competed in their first year and were looking to capitalise momentum from their success at their Regional Finals.

Both teams were hoping that victory in the State Finals would lead to greater success at the Australian Championships where they would pit themselves against the best teams from each of the states in Australia. Both Celeritas and Super Sonic Speed were evenly matched when it came to car design and performance, something which was a major strength to both teams as part of their prior success. Whilst Celeritas had the upper hand at State, winning the Fastest Lap, Grand Prix and Knockout Racing, Super Sonic Speed were able to match this with consistent results in other categories such as best team portfolio and the best engineered design, which as a result, had granted them an opportunity to have a chance of finally prevailing at State level.

The result of a tied placing brought much shock and surprise to all the other competing teams and to the judges, but this showed just how competitive and determined these two teams were at winning and preparing themselves for the biggest challenge of all, the World Championships at Abu Dhabi.

And so, the rivalry between Celeritas and Super Sonic Speed began, with each team working very hard knowing that their success at State would not be easily repeated in the Australian Championships. Despite the fact that there was a holiday period between Christmas and the New Year of 2014, this was not a reason for rest for the two teams, as they would push themselves very hard to maximize results and opportunities in preparation for the National Finals. Testing became ever more crucial, and with it the need to raise more funds in order to have a chance of being able to compete viably for a chance to qualify for the World Finals.

The showdown between the two teams would become ever fiercer with Super Sonic Speed being pitted against Celeritas in the Grand Final of the Knockout championships during the National Finals. Super Sonic Speed were dominating on the track, having won the Fastest Car award with a time of 1.033 seconds but were unlucky to miss out on the Grand Prix category where Celeritas beat them by 5 thousandths of a second. The Knockout racing was very close, but in the end, Super Sonic Speed were finally able to beat Celeritas in terms of race pace by taking out the Knockout championships.

Unfortunately for them, this was not enough to win the Australian championships but knew that they still had a chance of competing for the world finals in Abu Dhabi. And with this, came the formation of Southern Cross F1, a collaboration team who are hoping to replicate the success of A1 Racing, a fellow collaborative team who won the 2013 F1 in Schools World Championships in Austin, United States.

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