Damax – Robin Ward’s Team
Doing A Good, Honest Job

We continually use the word ‘Damax’ in British GT (and Britcar) reports – but until the GT3-only meeting at Croft on May 7-8, we at dsc were rather confused about what ‘Damax’ is.

dailysportscar.com“I’ve been in motorsport all my life,” says team owner Robin Ward (right), “for example with TWR, Spice Engineering and Austin Rover.”

Being a very busy chap, some of the finer details of the past 15 years are a little elusive, but he founded Damax “in about 1990. I was the driver, running in the Ferrari Hillclimb Championship. But it took until 1999 before the team became my full-time occupation.”

The team focused on the Maranello Challenge between 2001 and 2004, and throughout the team’s existence, Ferraris have been its chosen marque. 2003 saw Damax enter British GTs for the first time, before a full season in 2004 (and into 2005 – again with two cars), but this season has seen expansion into the European 360 Challenge, with a full European calendar of events at the likes of Hockenheim, Spa, Silverstone, Mugello and Vallelunga.

“We look after nine Ferrari 360s in total,” explains Robin Ward, “which includes the two we run in Britcar.”

Robin’s definition of the team – “We do a good, honest job,” – is backed up by one of his four British GT drivers, Marco Attard.

“Robin is absolutely straightforward to deal with – and highly experienced.”

That's Attard on the right, during qualifying at Croft on Saturday, with Robin Ward in the middle of this 'team shot'.

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With the likes of Marco Attard and Nick Adams driving for the team, there’s abundant experience in the cockpit of one of this year’s GT3 Ferraris, while the red, #16 car has the younger element in it: Jamie Smyth and Miles Hulford.

Smyth had a very frustrating 2004, driving a Ferrari for another team, but is settled in now at Damax – with his 17 year old partner Miles Hulford.

“Miles was still only 16 at the first round at Donington last month, but he’s since had his seventeenth birthday,” explains the team owner. “He’s a very sensible 17 year old, and he’s got plenty of talent.”

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That was evident in Sunday’s race at Croft, Hulford racing hard throughout his stint, right up there with the top group – typically in third place.

dailysportscar.comHe hadn’t got in the car in Saturday’s one hour race, Jamie Smyth starting, but struggling with an intermittent braking fault, which eventually caught him out at Sunny, and saw the red 360 slithering backwards into the barrier. It was largely only panel damage though, and was running perfectly on-song on Sunday, as both drivers proved.

Smyth and Attard (right) finished right together in Sunday’s race, third and fourth.

The only significant problem the team has faced this year has been the weather.

“Every time we tested it’s been wet, so we had a good wet set-up. We made a change before the Saturday race here, but that made the cars worse in the dry, so we changed them again for the second race, but with no warm-up on Sunday morning, we didn’t have a chance to try it before the race.”

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Third and fourth confirmed that the cars were still very good in the wet (above). Regarding the fuel issue that cropped up on Saturday, Robin Ward, with all that experience of running Ferraris, was sure that the championship fuel wasn’t a problem – it certainly wasn’t for his cars.

His plan for Damax is to “stay in GT racing” – and perhaps, when the time is right, that will see the team explore the possibility of international races. Robin Ward doesn’t seem in a great hurry though – and with nine cars to look after this year, why should he be?

He would like to see more, longer races in the British GT Championship though – “At the moment it’s a sprint series,” – although not everyone would agree. Nearby in the paddock, Ferrari-owner David Dove wants to keep to one hour races, because he doesn’t want to wear his car out!

Damax took two wins in the Cup Class in 2004 (Marco Attard and Nick Adams, at Silverstone's LMES / British GT meeting, below, and at Brands Hatch), and the early season form suggests that 2005 GT3 wins can’t be far away. Attard and Adams, or Hulford and Smyth?

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