AUSTIN (KXAN) - Students from across Texas had a special opportunity Saturday to get a behind the scenes look at F1 racing in Austin thanks to the F1 in Schools program.
More than 70 students on more than two dozens teams competed in a regional championship from LBJ High School, Granbury High School, Akins High School, Reagan High School, Pflugerville High School, John B. Connally High School, Hendrickson High School, PSJA Southwest High School and DATA Roosevelt High School.
Prior to Saturday's competion, the students designed mini Formula One cars using special computer software. The teams then built the models and started the testing phase.
"We've had seven prototypes and out of those seven we've chosen two -- our two best ones," said Erwin Neira, a sophomore at Akins High School in South Austin.
Chloe Scroggins, a junior from Grandbury High School near Dallas was one of the few females in the race.
The 17-year-old says her teachers have been the driving force behind getting her excited about a career in engineering, but it was her dad who originally steered her in that direction.
"My dad pushed me to go into engineering," said Scroggins. "At first I wanted to be a mechanical engineer, but then I started looking into the Navy and so now I'm looking more towards nuclear engineering."
At first, Scroggins thought she would hate the engineering classes, but quickly found the exact opposite. Saturday, her team kept beating others to the finish line, and eventually took second place overall.
Before hitting the track, each carbon dioxide powered car must pass inspection.
It also takes more than speed to win the race. Teams have to be fast with the trigger at the starting line and wow the judges with their design.
The teams also put their public speaking to the test by answering a round of questions from judges about their cars.
For most of the students, just getting here is rewarding enough.
"We work together, we talk a lot about what we're doing. Everybody has their own specific job and we just make it work," said Erwin.
Winners of the race will move on to the U.S. National Competition at the Michigan International Speedway in May. The final step is the F1 in Schools World Championship in November.
Third Place - Talon Racing, Akins HS, Austin ISD
Second Place - Axium Racing, Granbury HS, Granbury ISD
Grand Champion - Team NOVA, PSJA Southeast HS, Pharr San Jose Alamo ISD
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