Gifted young engineers at Titus Salt School, Baildon, are gearing up for the national finals of a Formula 1 racing car design competition after taking pole position and second place in the regional heats.

And whoever wins in front of 65,000 people at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, from March 13 to 16, will be off to the world final in Abu Dhabi.

Two teams from Salt’s are taking part in the F1 in Schools challenge in which students create their own Formula One team, design, manufacture and race a 1:12 scale model car designed using 3D modelling software and machined from a block of balsa wood.

Year 13 student Ali Javed (pictured, on the right) captains regional champions team TITAN and explained how they were fine-tuning their machines ready for Birmingham.

“We’re concentrating on making our car even more aerodynamic and faster. To win and then go to Abu Dhabi would obviously be amazing,” he said.

The finished cars, powered by CO2 canisters blast down a 20m track in timed races with the current record standing at 1.020 seconds.

Kieran Nar (pictured, on the left), who is in Year 12, leads the other team, Element 6, and said they were working on smoothing the coatings on their car’s front spoiler to further reduce drag.

“It’s a great experience because we’re using the same 3D modelling software as professional auto-engineers,” he said.