At the helm of an ambitious initiative is a group of six Thai students – all from the Shrewsbury International School, Bangkok. The youthful ensemble collectively steer the Intanin Racing team, presently making their presence felt at the 2024 F1 in Schools World Finals; an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the thriving engineering talent amongst Thai students in an international STEM arena. The team comprises Ariya Taechamahaphan, Na Chan Trisiricharoen, Pirachat Karnasuta, Nichapa Ariyapongpairoj, Thanakrit Phunyasit, and Xinyuan Cao.
For the uninitiated, F1 in Schools is a not-for-profit project integrally linked to the Formula One World Championship Limited. The aim of the project is to enable students from all over the world to emulate the intricacies of the F1 teams, putting theoretical knowledge to the test – quite literally. The project’s scope involves the design, manufacture, and racing of miniature Formula One cars, powered by air and racing on the tracks of Formula One Grand Prix events, fully embodying a multi-disciplinary challenge.
Over a span of two prolific years, the industrious team has developed over 10 car models, ensuring rigorous wind tunnel analyses and sophisticated computational fluid dynamics simulations are carried out using Fusion 360. In addition to state-of-the-art facilities provided by the F1 in Schools center, the venture also found an ally in the form of a partnership with FabLab, a manufacturing initiative by King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT). The partnership allowed Intanin Racing to fabricate its car models using recycled resins and also tinker with the integration of carbon fibre into their car builds. Overwhelmingly, out of a scope of 17,000 teams in the initial rounds, the Intanin Racing team was amongst the rare few to make it to the World Finals.
Like most ambitious undertakings, the journey to glory was interspersed with several hurdles. A glaring challenge was the lack of resources, particularly when it came to procuring raw materials such as lignin-based carbon fibres which were integral to their car wings’ builds. To overcome this, the team reached out to various Thai companies for sponsorships, but met with disappointment when most expressed tepid interest. Undaunted, the team persisted in their efforts to secure funding, learning crucial lessons in business pitching and presentation along the way.
The Intanin Racing team’s interests encompass more than simply car fabrication and procuring funds; they’ve also invested time in organising a series of cooperative events throughout Thailand with KMUTT University and various international schools. Exemplary of their broader vision was a recyclable paper car race, aimed at promoting sustainability in motorsports, particularly amongst the youth, inspiring them to embrace a “green mindset.”
Considering the passion, determination and vision reflected in these students, there is little doubt that the Intanin Racing team has the aptitude to elevate Thailand’s reputation on the international stage. Their endeavour is a dynamic part of the worldwide movement towards sustainable racing, marking their potential contribution towards a future where societies achieve prosperity in a sustainable world.