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Manatee County mini-car race team preparing for national competition

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MANATEE COUNTY, FL (WWSB) - High school students in Manatee County are racing towards the finish line in a contest that will test their physics and engineering skills. It's a competition that they're hoping will take them to the world series of their sport in Asia.

Perspective Racing, right here on the Suncoast is trying to win it all, competing in a race that takes place annually with teams from all over the world.

It's a Formula 1 STEM initiative competition with a team comprised of seven students. To prepare for competition, the team spent the year designing and building their own mini cars, weighing less than a pound to race on a 20-meter track--reaching speeds of up to 40 miles an hour--all powered by C02. Student engineer Alex Kumar says, "these little C02 canisters that are pressurized and they fit inside the little cartridge back here and they line up to the contraption that punctures it and you get to see who goes faster."

The race takes less than a second. The team that has the fastest car wins the race, but there are other components that the team is judged on says Kumar.

"The engineering portfolio, the enterprise portfolio, outreach in the community. we have a pit display that we're building. it's a huge board showing all of our content."

Team resource manager Ahmad Ibsais, A Braden River student, says the competition isn't just about the race.

"My job is to engage the community and collaborate with businesses to not only fund our trip but raise awareness for the organization."

Much like a real formula one racing team, Ibsais and his teammates must recruit sponsors for all their expenses according to marketing manager Cassandra Aztrodt.

"Whether it's social media or getting connected with businesses around the county through phone calls e-mails letters."

Perspective Racing Advisor Brian Kendzior says the real world skills for these teens are immeasurable.

"Not too many kids can say when they go to college that they been in a competition and they basically ran a business and fund 50 to 70 thousand dollars is what we need to compete in this competition."

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