F3: Teamcraft to line up on British F3 grid
By LJ Hutchins
Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
A new entrant is set to take its place on next year’s British F3 grid, saying that it aims to be a front-running outfit from lights to flag, and to challenge for the championship podium.
Silverstone-based Teamcraft Motorsport has experience in both Euroseries 3000, where it ran the UK’s Ben Hanley in this year’s competition, and in A1GP, where it operated cars for Team Germany, among others.
It announced its new project while taking its car for an outing around Silverstone’s national circuit on Friday to shake down the HWA/Mercedes-powered Mygale chassis with Formula Renault champion Dean Smith behind the wheel.
The team’s technical director is James Robinson who worked for 25 years in Fomula One as an engineer to world-championship winning drivers including Nigell Mansell, Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet Sr, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve. He has also worked on winning Le Mans cars and on Mike Conway’s British F3 championship win.
Team manager Les Jones also counts a quarter of a century of motorsport involvement on his CV, being involved in six Formula One World Championships with both driver and constructor. The outfit will be fielding two cars in the 2010 championship.
Robinson said: “We’ve brought together a first-class team of people and believe that with our experience and expertise we can be a major player in British F3.
“The Mercedes-Mygale package, although unloved by many, is already proven as a race winner and in our hands we are confident we can be competitive. We’ve started our programme with the shakedown of the first car and completed-89 trouble free laps.
“Dean has been fantastic, showing great maturity in his approach, and providing us with good feedback. Obviously it’s our first time out having basically put a new car together from scratch, so it’s all new for us, but we ran reliably and were competitive both in the wet morning and drier afternoon conditions.
“We’re not truly able to gauge our performance at the moment as the real competition is all in Macau at the moment, so we’ll have to wait until we get out on a track with them. Our development programme starts now, so we’ll be putting our efforts into extracting all the potential performance in the car over the coming months.”
He said the team aimed to be winners within its first year of competition.
“Not just targeting a race or two, but planning to challenge for the championship podium. We’ve put together a package which we believe can deliver the results, not only in terms of the car and engine but also with the people and the infrastructure.
“It’s a very exciting new project for us and we’re looking forward to next season.”