Tag Archives: Nigel Stepney

WEC

JRM RACING TAKES POLE IN PRIVATEER CLASS FOR SIX HOURS OF SHANGHAI

27 October 2012 – JRM Racing will start the Six Hours of Shanghai, the eighth and final round of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship, from pole position in class and fourth overall on the grid. This is the team’s first-ever pole in the championship and best qualifying result of the season. Karun Chandhok, the only of the three JRM Racing drivers with previous experience of the Shanghai International Circuit, was out in the #22 and set a fastest time of 1:51.003.
The result came after a slow start to the day for Karun. The rain and a red flag early in the session meant he had to wait before going out on track for the first time this morning. As a result he only completed 10 laps to check out the cold and slippery Shanghai track and prepare for the decisive qualifying session. In the end it made little difference as the Indian secured pole by 0.016 over the #12 Rebellion.
Tomorrow’s race will be the first time Shanghai hosts an FIA World Endurance Championship round and it will also mark the end of the 2012 championship.
Karun Chandhok:
I’m absolutely thrilled with today’s result. It’s the first time we’ve finished as the fastest privateer car and it’s a great feeling as we have promised it for so long. We know tomorrow won’t be easy, as we are all very close here, but we can be very happy with what we achieved today. I think we have improved massively during the season and it’s good to be starting ahead of our main rivals. Tomorrow’s race will be tough as the Strakka and Rebellion guys are very strong. The team is working hard and doing an excellent job, and results like today’s gives a confidence boost for tomorrow.
Nigel Stepney, team manager and chief engineer:
A fantastic day for the team. Karun did an excellent job in qualifying and this result shows how the team has come forward since the beginning of the year. This is our best result of the season and even though qualifying is not major for an endurance race, it gives the team a boost and is important for the morale. For sure it will help us tomorrow as we only have the Audis and the Toyota in front of us and it makes it easier to have a clean start, staying out of trouble. Now we look forward to tomorrow and hope that this is just the start of an excellent weekend in Shanghai.
James Rumsey, team principal:
I’m very happy for the team, to be on pole position is a great result. Tomorrow we will start the race at the clear end of the track and we won’t have traffic on the first few laps… I’m already looking forward to it. It’s been a hard season getting up to speed, so it’s nice to be finishing the season on the sharp end. We knew we had the potential to achieve these positive results, it was just a matter of time. After being on the podium for the first time in Japan two weeks ago, I hope tomorrow we can do it again and end the season on a high.

WEC

JRM RACING CONTINUES ITS CHAMPIONSHIP CHALLENGE AT FUJI SPEEDWAY

JRM Racing continues its debut FIA World Endurance Championship campaign this weekend in Fuji, Japan. Just two weeks after the inaugural WEC race in Bahrain, the British-based team travels to the classic Japanese track at the foot of Mount Fuji for the penultimate event of the series. The Six Hours of Fuji will take place on Sunday 14 October and JRM will be looking to finally deliver on the promise it has shown throughout the championship. The team, which is currently third in the privateers’ title race, is hoping that its history of competing in Japan, driver Peter Dumbreck’s extensive experience at Fuji and the support of the local crowd will help it realize its potential.
 
Throughout the six races held so far this year, JRM’s Honda HPD ARX-03a LMP1 car has demonstrated good pace, but luck has evaded the team since its unprecedented sixth overall in its first-ever 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. Now revitalized after a detailed analysis of the issues, JRM is optimistic of finally securing the result to consolidate the team’s ongoing efforts.
 
Team principal, James Rumsey, commented, ‘We’ve shown some serious potential this year, with fastest times in practice, good strategy calls and a formidable driver line-up that is gelling well. Unfortunately, however, we’ve had a few technical issues that meant we couldn’t realize that potential. That’s the pitfall of being a new team; no one gives you a manual of what to do – we are learning on the job. We’ll go to Fuji now with the additional information from Bahrain and Brazil and try to finish the year on a high. Getting a good result in Japan would be fantastic as JRM has strong links with the country through our ties with Nissan Motorsport and the GT championship, plus Peter has an established fan base after his years of racing there. We hope the local support will cheer us to the finish line.’
 
Team manager and chief engineer, Nigel Stepney, added, ‘After Bahrain and Brazil we worked closely with HPD to understand what went wrong in the races. We’ve traced the issues and we have the test day at Fuji on the Wednesday before the race, which will be a good opportunity to evaluate the countermeasures we have put in place. Fuji is a difficult track, with undulation changes and that long pit straight, so we will also use the opportunity to fine-tune the set-up and get a handle on tyre wear so we can hit the ground running on Friday practice and then in qualifying. It’s a great chance as well for David and Karun to learn the track, although Peter knows Fuji well, which will be a massive help for the team in advancing our programme. ’
 
Peter Dumbreck has spent several seasons racing in Japan, first in 1998 and 1999 in Japanese Formula 3 and Formula Nippon and then from 2005 to 2009 in Super GT. During this time he commuted between the UK and his base in Gotemba, located just a few miles from Fuji Speedway. The Scot added, ‘I’ve spent six seasons racing in various categories in Japan. I’m looking forward to make my first trip back in four years after seasons in European GT and now the WEC. Fuji is actually one of my favourite circuits so I hope to step up and help achieve a good result for JRM and my team-mates. There is some tremendous support for motorsport in Japan so it will be good to see the same faces that I’ve seen over the years of racing.’
 
David Brabham has raced in Japan before and eagerly anticipates his return to the land of the rising sun, ‘It has been a long time since I was in Japan, but I have fond memories racing there and really look forward to racing at Fuji. I won the All Japan GT500 series in 1996 and I hope to see some old friends. It will be another close battle for the privateers, but we have to step up and produce a better performance to date, which we will work hard to do.’
 

Karun Chandhok meanwhile makes his first trip to Fuji, the first time he will have raced on Japanese soil, although he is no stranger to Japan. ‘This will be the first time I’m going to race in Japan, which should be interesting. I did the Friday free practice session last year for Team Lotus at Suzuka, but Fuji will be a new experience altogether. My visit last year was the first time I’ve been to Japan and I absolutely loved the country, the culture and the passion for motorsport there. The JRM team and my team-mate Peter Dumbreck have a strong history with Japanese motorsport so I hope we can get a good result for everyone there. In the last couple races we’ve been in pretty good shape in the races only for some reliability issues to make a mess of the result. I know Nigel and the team have been working very hard to get on top of that and the extra day of testing in Fuji will hopefully help us a bit more.

WEC

JRM RACING FINISHES DAY ONE AS QUICKEST PRIVATEER TEAM
 
13 September 2012 – JRM Racing finished the first day of practice for the Six Hours of Sao Paulo as the fastest petrol car and the highest classified privateer team. The #22 HPD-ARX 03a driven by David Brabham, Karun Chandhok and Peter Dumbreck recorded a time of 1:24.265, putting it fourth overall and just 0.3secs from the #1 Audi of Fassler, Lotterer and Treluyer. Over the two 90 minute sessions the crew completed 77 laps running through a programme of tyre evaluation, set up and circuit familiarization. Peter, who last raced at Interlagos two years ago in GT1, set the quickest time of the day in the second 90-minute practice session.
 
Peter opened the running for the #22 in FP1, completing 12 laps with a best time of 1:26.440. This was to be the team’s quickest time of the morning as the rain arrived shortly after. David took over for another 14 laps – his first outing at Interlagos since competing in 1994 Brazilian Grand Prix with Simtek. Karun completed the session with a 13 lap run, taking the team’s total lap count over the practice to 40.
 
Karun then opened FP2 with 12 laps before David took over for a further 15 laps. Peter then brought running to a close, setting the team’s fastest time of the day in the dying minutes of the session.
 
 
First free practice session:
Second free practice session:
40 laps completed
Fastest lap:      1:26.440          (PD)     +2.070secs
 
37 laps completed
Fastest lap:      1:24.265          (PD)     +1.060secs
 
 
 
David Brabham:
After a long time away it was good to come back to Interlagos and drive the circuit again. It’s genuinely a very cool track. Balance wise we are getting there and we made some good improvements throughout both sessions. I think we can be somewhat pleased with what we have achieved today. There are still some key areas we are working on, but with the information we gathered we have plenty to build on for tomorrow.
 
Karun Chandhok:
Today was about learning the circuit as I have never driven here before. It started drizzling at the start of the second session when I was out, but it was useful to get some data in all types of conditions. We concentrated more on race preparation and we got plenty of information and ideas to study overnight. The traffic doesn’t seem as bad as I thought. With fewer cars it isn’t so bad, except in the very narrow mid sector. We didn’t set out to get a quick time and we know that the other teams are going to come back strong tomorrow, but for now I’d say it’s been a good day.
 
Peter Dumbreck:
We spent a lot of time on old tyres to test the tyre durability but at the end of the day I got a run on low fuel and new tyres, which was a big step forward. I was quite happy with the car today. Things can still be improved but we could do some reasonable laps. We shouldn’t count on anything for tomorrow as there is still work to do and we know that Strakka and Rebellion will come back stronger, but it was a solid day that sets us up well for the weekend.
 
Nigel Stepney, team manager and chief engineer:
Today we concentrated more on preparation for the race; getting information on the tyre behaviour over longer distances and fine-tuning the set up. It was also about getting the drivers up to speed; Karun has never been here before and David hasn’t driven the track in several years. It was a productive day overall – we got a lot of very valuable information. While it’s great to see our name up there as the best of the petrol and privateer cars we know that the competition won’t sleep so we will keep focused for tomorrow.

WEC

Q&A with Nigel Stepney…
 
JRM Racing conducted two days of testing at Aragon, Spain, on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 August as it prepares for its home race at Silverstone next week. After finishing sixth at Le Mans on its 24 hour racing debut, this test was crucial in keeping the momentum going as the team bids to take the lead of the FIA World Endurance Championship standings.
 
We caught up with team manager Nigel Stepney to get some details of the test and a look forward to the coming races.
 
You’ve just had two days of testing at Aragon, what was the aim of this test?
It’s been almost two months since the Le Mans 24 Hours and, although we’ve not exactly been idle, it’s a long time not to have been out racing and working together as a crew. The first morning was really about getting everyone – drivers and the mechanics – back up to speed. David and Peter had been to Aragon before, but it was new for Karun so he had a particularly steep learning curve.
 
How did the test go?
Really good actually. It was our first two day test with the car as we only got the car together in time for the Sebring race and then had one day of testing post Spa. It was very positive on the whole; we didn’t have any issues and were able to do a lot of running and get all the drivers in the car on both days. All three drivers went out in the car in the first part of the day on Tuesday to get back into the feel of it and then we built up from there. We did over 800km, with each driver getting some good time in the car. We looked at understanding the tyre behaviour at very high temperatures. Michelin brought along the medium development tyre, which will be introduced in Bahrain later this year. With a track temperature of over 50 deg C it’s a good warm up for this hot race – we won’t see conditions like this in Silverstone or Brazil!
 
It’s been a long time since Le Mans; what did the team do between two races?
The car was returned to our workshop in Rye the following week and almost immediately taken to a couple of media commitments, including the Sky F1 Show. It was then stripped back down and checked over before the parts were analysed thoroughly, cleaned and repaired where necessary. The build up to Le Mans was quite tough as we didn’t have a long time from the Spa race and then it was into the pre-Le Mans test and then the race week itself. Being such a new team – and new to the track – we had a long job list so after the race people also took the opportunity to take some time off. After we returned it was straight into the car build for the test here in Aragon, then the test itself. From here we return to our HQ and rebuild the car for Silverstone next week.
 
The team had a fantastic result at Le Mans – how difficult was it to achieve and what did it feel like to cross the line first time out?
Le Mans is one of the hardest races in the world so to finish is a massive achievement. Whether you’ve got ten years of experience or it’s your first time, getting to the end after 24 hours is a phenomenal feeling. However we’d had a really tough lead up to the event so the result was even more special. I felt really proud of the team and the drivers – it was a complete team effort.
 
Silverstone is just round the corner, what are your feelings on this?
It’s our home race and we’d all love to get a good result on home ground. All the same it’s a race we need to do well in. We are second in the standings now to Rebellion, only 24 points behind so we really need to close the gap. That’s the focus now.