MAGDALENE Catholic High School students have helped Australia retain its winning streak at the F1 in Schools Challenge - finishing second in the world.
Gamma Raycing - a team of six students (five in year 12 and one year 10 student) — travelled to Abu Dhabi last week, taking with them the miniature Formula One car they designed using special 3D modelling software and machined from a block of balsa wood.
At the end of an intense 2½ days of competition, the students came second in a field of 300 students from 23 countries.
The students posted on their Facebook page: "Absolutely incredible night. Can't believe that we're second amongst so many incredible teams. Thank you to everyone for your support these past few months — it means so much to the team.
"Although the Ashes were lost to England by 0.023 seconds, we all enjoyed the fun and excitement that it brought."
The team emailed the news at 2am and it was announced at the school assembly to the cheers of all the students.
"We're really very proud of them, they worked so hard," principal John Lo Cascio said.
He said the competition was so tight that just one second separated the 23 teams.
Gamma Raycing became Australia's top team to head into the international finals after being named national champions in March.
"Australian teams in the last few years have achieved first on the world stage on a number of occasions but for us it has been a fantastic achievement. They have come from being novices in year 9 to one place off world champions," Mr Lo Cascio said.
Andrew Denford, founder and chairman of F1 in Schools, told the teams at the opening ceremony last Monday: "You've all done exceptionally well to be here and I know you're going to have a great time. Looking around at the pit displays I can see that you've raised the bar, taking the professionalism and quality of the presentations to another level as well as designing cars with cutting edge tech-nology and innovative features."
As well as pushing the pedal to the metal on their compressed air powered cars, Gamma Raycing were also judged on their pit display, portfolio and verbal presentation.