MANATEE -- Three Manatee County high school students -- one from Lakewood Ranch and two from Braden River -- have brought home a 13th place finish in the F1 (compressed air balsa wood car races) at the Schools World Finals in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Republic.
The local students -- Aly Cote, a freshman at Lakewood Ranch; Mario Palmer, a junior at Braden River; and Jeremy Petty, a Braden River High graduate -- were part of Velox F1, a collaboration team representing the United States and Canada.
The competition took place at Ferrari World, an indoor them park, in Abu Dhabi.
A total of 33 teams with more than 350 students from 22 countries competed in the event.
"This was a truly amazing learning experience," said Velox graphic designer Palmer in a press release.
"We have met students from all over the world and witnessed how each team interpreted the engineering rules to compete in this global competition."
Aly Cote served as the team's resource manager. She was responsible for the team's financial support and resources.
Petty collaborated with Canada's Genooshan Indirathas to design the team's entry. Petty constructed the cars in Bradenton.
The team's initial con-cept cars were built andtested in Toronto by Velox Manufacturing Engineer Owen Chen who also served as the Reaction Time trigger man.
Velox's electric green-and-black car was seventh fastest car out of 33 entries making it under the lights at the end of the 65 foot track in 1.071 seconds.
The Manatee County students qualified for the F1 in Schools World Finals invitation by virtue of their second place finish at the 2012 Finals in May held at the Michigan International Speedway.
Cold Fusion, an Australian team, claimed the F1 in Schools World Champions title.
The runners-up were Team Ignite from the United Kingdom with Team Rush from England claiming the third place honors.
Margi Nanney of Manatee County Schools/USA served as team advisor for the Manatee students.
F1 in Schools encourages the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by creating a fun and exciting learning environment for young people.