Creation – Looking Back, Looking Ahead
have been all sorts of rumours regarding Creation Autosportif’s
2005 plans, so it was time to talk to (team owner) Mike Jankowsi,
to find out the whole story.
First of all
though, a look back at Laguna Seca - where the Creation DBA began
the race from pole position (which obviously pleased Nic Minassian).
having a great race with JJ Lehto at the front, but after 45 minutes,
he began to suffer rubber pick-up on the front tyres. He was losing
three to four seconds a lap, so we called him in early for a fresh
set. We then had a slight problem with the engine re-firing, because
our version of the Zytek V8 takes a little while to ‘find
the spark’. The Evo 4 version of the engine doesn’t
have this problem.
a great race with Johnny Herbert for an hour, but then we had the
sticking throttle. Overheating was the ultimate cause. Preliminary
investigation, however, suggests that this resulted from the
failure of a cooling system Pressure Release Valve that regulates
pressure/heat in the engine. The resultant pressure build-up appears
to have caused the water pump seals to fail and a general loss of
whole ALMS set-up was very impressive. We went out and met as many
fans as possible, and their approach to the fans is very good. We
loved the whole ambience of the ALMS, and we expect to be involved
there at least as often as we were this year.”
So where does the prototype
programme stand now, and what events do you expect to be entering
“Our big push now
is getting budgets together for ’05. We’re in contact
with potential sponsors, several of whom have arisen thanks to the
media day we held at Silverstone during the summer.
itself doesn’t arrive back here for another three weeks, but
we have a clear development programme in place. Top of the list
is to take some weight out of the car. We’ve been running
at about 755 kg, but we’re sure we can take off 20 to 25 kg,
and get it down to 725 to 730. 720 kg is the regulation weight for
these cars for next yea, so with the restrictor change, we believe
we should be in a very advantageous position: we ought to have the
same power to weight ratio as we’ve been running this year,
once we’ve got rid of the weight. The regulation changes really
will suit our car.
“We feel the car
can be a regular winner next year – as long as we can improve
the reliability, so that’s where more cooling comes in. We’re
going to make this car into a winning, reliable machine for 2005.”
So is that in the LMES
and at Le Mans, with one car…?
that we could run two cars next year. It’s theoretically possible
that we’ll run an ALMS programme and an LMES programme, but
that’s unlikely, at the moment. But we are talking to American
sponsors, and we certainly could do the whole ALMS.
more likely, at the moment, that we’d do the LMES, plus Sebring
and the two end of season ALMS events, but also be more adventurous
in the middle of the season, with some ALMS races between the LMES
ones. There are certainly some very interesting circuits in America,
and after Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca, we’re full of the
positives of the ALMS.
“But as I said
at the start, we’re at the ‘let’s raise the money’
stage – but the encouraging thing is that we’ve been
to America and proven our performance. We’ll have to wait
and see: but we’re sure that 2005 is the year we can win the
LMES, as long as we develop the car properly, and I’m sure
we can do that.”
So what about Creation
and rumours of a GT programme?
“At the moment,
I doubt it. We’ve had a few people interested in us running
‘exotica’ for them, and with the right car and the right
people, I’d never say never, but we already have a product
we can run with – the DBA.
you know, our Listers are for sale, and they’d make very good
privateer cars in the French and Italian GT Championships. They’re
not difficult cars to run, and I think we’ve shown what they
can do over the past two seasons.”
So it looks
to be prototypes for Creation Autosportif in 2005 - which could
well become the year of the 720 (to 730) kg LMP1s. The Creation
team should also expect a Le Mans 24 Hours entry this time too.
'So you want
me to race here in 2005?'