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Dubbo's Team Zircon gains wildcard entry to world championships

A wild card entry is taking the Dubbo College team to the World 4x4 in Schools championship in England. Photo: Supplied A wild card entry is taking the Dubbo College team to the World 4x4 in Schools championship in England. Photo: Supplied

A surprise wild card has given Dubbo College’s 4x4 in Schools team, Team Zircon, entry to the 2016 world championship in England.

News of the decision came late last week with the College team then accepting the offer and making their quest for a world title public.

The team of Year 12 students, including Bryce Cronin, Shiv Ram, Sharik Burgess-Stride and Lucas Blattman, together with teacher John Miller, recently took second place at the Australian 4x4 in Schools titles in Sydney.

The team took out two major awards in the competition including “Best Track Performance” and “Most Innovative Design” for their home-designed and manufactured miniature four-wheel drive vehicle.

However they were just beaten by Wombat Warriors from Pine River State High School in Queensland, the same team that went to the world championships in London in 2015.

News of their wild card entry was greeted with great excitement by the team, which has also been able to take on an additional member for their next challenge.

Another Year 12 student, Chayan Deb Nath, has joined the team, taking on the role of communications and finance manager.

Chayan’s skills will complement other team members, with Sharik acting as team manager, Shiv as design engineer, Bryce as design and marketing manager, and Lucas as manufacturing engineer.

The world championships will take place in Coventry, England in early July and the team is now working hard to win sponsorship from local companies.

“Even during the Sydney-based national competition people expressed surprise that Dubbo was in the running for a place,” Sharik said.

“Taking our Dubbo-developed mini four-wheel drive all the way to England will be amazing and I think people are going to be asking 'where is Dubbo?'

“We estimate that altogether we will need in the vicinity of $35,000 to mount our world challenge and we are really hoping that local companies will come on board.”

Teacher and team mentor John Miller said this was the second year the 4x4 in Schools challenge had operated in Australia.

“We have been involved for eight or nine years in the F1 in Schools challenge and Australia has actually figured very prominently in world titles in the past, usually having a podium finish,” he said.

“There are about 20 schools from throughout the world taking part in the four-wheel drive world championships this year and I believe the ingenuity or our Dubbo College students will ensure that our entry will be highly competitive.”

Companies interested in becoming sponsors for the Dubbo College team are invited to call Mr Miller at the Senior Campus on 6882 4655.

- Story & photo contributed by Dubbo College