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Ruta Sechaba Foundation: Dashayin ‘Dash’ Gilbert

Asked to envisage a bold futuristic vision for Cape Town using artificial intelligence (AI), academic star learner Dashayin ‘Dash’ Gilbert designed the Formula 1 supercar circuit that dreams are made of, set against the backdrop of majestic Table Mountain. 

Dash is a Ruta Sechaba Foundation (RSF) scholarship holder and was head boy of Curro Durbanville in 2022, where he achieved an 89,42% average and seven distinctions in matric. He aspires to be a motorsport aerodynamicist and has been accepted into a university course in England which could set him on the path to becoming a real F1 engineer.

‘My motorsport career goal is to make F1 predictable. I want to design the most dominant cars in F1 history, alongside which I would like to develop my existing aerodynamic research toward reducing energy demands and carbon emissions of road cars through aerodynamic concepts.’

Born in Chatsworth in KwaZulu-Natal, and raised in the Western Cape, Dash’s Ruta Sechaba scholarship enabled him to attend Curro Durbanville, which led him to find his passion for aerodynamics. In addition to being head boy, he also captained the soccer team, founded and led a digital media team, joined the school’s diversity committee, participated in community outreach programmes, and was Mr Curro Durbanville 2022.

‘I was able to be involved in multiple extramural activities that all related to what I enjoy doing. Most of my spare time was spent developing my F1 aerodynamics research, which has thus far received a full scholarship award and third place in Physics and Astronomy at the largest pre-collegiate science fair in the world in Atlanta in the USA.’

Dash has been accepted to study at the leading F1 recruitment university for aerodynamicists, the University of Southampton. Gilbert was offered the opportunity to combine the master’s programme with an industrial placement this year, which means he could work in F1 as early as 2025.

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