Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Pirelli Test Day 15th February

The team were up bright and early at Donington park circuit on the 15th February, the first test day on The Goose’s car of the 2013 season. The ever organised lads managed to bring nearly everything to this test day, a great improvement on last season, so the kettle arrived safely but they did manage to forget the mugs!!! After a quick sprint to the cafĂ© this problem was soon resolved.

Over the winter the Team have been developing the Boxster S making various adaptations to improve handling and weight. These improvements instantly paid off when we took the car out on track with Marcus, fuelled by HobNobs, producing faster lap times than anyone in the championship has done before, on his old Michelins tyres.

The main purpose of undergoing this test day was to address the issue of a change in tyre brand. This change to Pirelli slicks is a challenge for the team as this will require a lot of research and a considerable amount of testing to get the cars back to optimum set up.
Pirelli sent a professional tyre engineer along to this specific test day to assess performance and provide advice, very useful when the team have very little experience of slick tyres!

The day showed that the car can be improved to work better with the new slick tyres, which have much more grip and it was noticeably quicker on them.  The car has gone back to the workshop for further development and we will have another test day shortly before the first round of the championship at Donington.

Hartech 2013 line up

A considerable amount of changes are happening in Team Hartech this year and we are undergoing some in depth development.
The Team has spent the winter focusing on improving the original Boxsters’ times through various adaptations in areas they felt could be improved following last season’s racing.
The improvements will be put to the test at a Donington Park test day in the near future. In addition to our personnel changes The Porsche Club’s tyre contract has ended so this year everyone will be running on Pirelli tyres. This includes a swap to slick tyres but this has presented a challenge to Team Hartech as it requires further research and a large amount of testing to get the cars back to optimum set up in these new conditions. Much to Marcus’ delight we are also giving each car a set of proper race “Wets”, allowing all the cars to be best prepared for the great British summer weather!

The Hartech racing family has grown and now in addition to the two Boxster S’ we will be racing a 996 and another Boxster.
In Order to make the team as successful as possible there has been many discussions and meetings on the best possible drivers for the cars. Ben has decided to take a season off in order to focus and develop his own business, Hartech boss Barry Heart said “He is our only winner and has given 2 great years service to the team and remains fondly in our hearts and minds with the possibility always of a return in the future.” We have hence had to widen our search for our drivers and the final decisions are:

Marcus Carniel is in the Green-trimmed Boxster S, the same one as he was racing in the previous season however the much improved version. Barry stated “He has been a great ambassador for the team and gradually gained confidence in the car as we improved the handling finally getting a podium at Silverstone.” Hopefully Marcus will start off this season where he left off last year and add to his history of great results.

Gary Marsh will be racing an all new 996. Over many seasons Gary has raced consistently and competitively in sports cars and single seaters achieving many Podiums, Race Wins and a Championship Win. Gary is a great asset to the team with experiencing in instructing he will hopefully be able to pass on some good hints and tips to our other divers and technical knowledge of engineering he will be able to give the team some excellent feedback allowing them to develop the cars to the highest standard.

Tom Bradshaw who will be racing the other (orange-trimmed) Boxster S for us. Tom moved up from racing karts (aged 16) to win 10 of 13 formula ford races and the Championship. In 2008 he finished 2nd in the Formula Palmer Audi Championship and in 2009 was chosen by Porsche for support and training racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup and later in the Professional Class racing in the 2011 Speed Euro Series in a prototype car. He and his father also run an incredibly successful business Road and Race Restorations, a well known and highly regarded body shop and authorised repairers for our local Porsche and Mercedes main agents. They beat 99 other contestants to be awarded Bodyshop of the Year in 2012.

Stuart Ings will be racing his own Boxster which has been run in the Porsche Club Championship for two years now.  In 2011 he qualified 4th in his first race finishing 6th in class and in 2012 he finished the season 4th in class with a best result of 4th in all 3 races at Silverstone having qualified 3rd. Due to the changes with the power to weight ratio rules Hartech have put a larger engine into the Boxster to improve his performance, but it will remain a Class Two car. Along with this he will be undergoing some driver development with the Team.

Hopefully all these changes will allow us to achieve all our aims and ultimately go for a Class and possibly even Championship Win!