Tracsport – One Down, Three To Go

We had the news here on June 3, that Tracsport would be entering the ex-Stanley Dickens Lola B2K / 40 in the three remaining LMES events. Ahead of the team’s international debut this weekend, we caught up with Rick Pearson, John Ingram and John Gaw, to find out who’s behind this ‘new’ team – a very interesting character – and how the three of them see their season developing (from the left, John Gaw, John Ingram and Rick Pearson).

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So how did you arrive at this project?

John Ingram: “Dudley Wood – yes, the Dudley Wood – was running the three of us in our 2003 championship winning Caterham R400 Team…..

Rick Pearson: “My style of driving didn’t really suit the Caterham, which has a distinctive ‘flex’ in the chassis – I prefer something stiffer. Plus our professional approach did not suit the championship. Anyway, between ourselves and Dudley, we’d always been in discussion about moving the team into an international category, and when we were offered a good pedigree GT3-RS, we focused on the LMES.

John Ingram: “We all felt that LMP2 was a phenomenal opportunity to race a well run, reliable car. Dudley has got the international experience of course.”

Rick Pearson: “With John (Ingram) and John Ingram Snr., sorting out the funding, we were very pleased to have received some backing from MAN Financial in the City of London.”

John Ingram: “We spent a long time researching which chassis and engine combination we would run. We had discussions with Pilbeam, and we were seriously thinking about the Jota Pilbeam, John Stack’s car. We spoke at some length with Sam Hignett and John Stack, and we came very close there…

Rick Pearson: “Dudley visited Lola, and he knew Nick Jordan anyway of course, and Nick put us in touch with Stanley Dickens.”

John Ingram: “Dudley and myself went to Sweden to see the car, and we agreed to buy it… so there we were, the proud owners of the 2001 FIA SCC Championship-winning SR2 car. A fortnight later, the truck went over to collect it, and it was back here on May 24.”

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Rick Pearson: “We were out testing on June 4, less than two weeks later. The car then was as it ran in Stanley’s colours. We’ve since had a lot of work done to it – including the changes needed to meet the ACO specifications - and recently shook it down at Snetterton, where it ran very well.”

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John Ingram: “We’re running the AER, Nissan-based, 3.0 V6, and we’ve got two engines, both upgraded with larger restrictors, a new spec. ECU, with both engines re-mapped. We’re looking at a reliable 450 bhp, and the engines are fantastic. The new ECU is the same one as on the 3.2 engine, but the benefit is that we get a stronger smoother power curve, compared to the 3.0 as it used to be.”

So what’s the plan for the Nurburgring this weekend?

Rick Pearson: “The same as for Silverstone and Spa: we want to run to the finish of all three rounds.”

John Ingram: “If the Courages run problem-free, there is no denying that it will be a challenge to catch them… yet. But when we’re really up and running, who knows?”

At this point John Gaw joined the conversation, and he was interested to hear the latest developments regarding the LMP2 entry at the ‘Ring: that is a couple of very serious runners have fallen by the wayside.

Are any of you familiar with the Nurburgring?

John Gaw: “Only on the Play Station!”

Rick Pearson: “I made myself sick last night, learning the track on my Play Station. I think I was too close to the screen, and I was upset by the lack of G forces !”

So what are the team’s plans after the third of the three LMES events?

John Ingram: “We’re keen to take in the last two ALMS races, but currently we only have the funding for the European races. We’re working on it though. We’ll carry on with this car into 2005. We understand that the plan is to extend the LMES a little next year, and that will suit us. We want to go to Le Mans next year, so we’ll be out to prove that LMP2 cars can run reliably over long distances. We aim to show that we can complete 1000 kilometre races this year.”

We concluded with a discussion regarding a particular speed record that could be down in the record books against Dudley Wood’s name. We’ll check that with Dudley on Friday. This should be a very interesting meeting for the LMP2 newcomers.

 

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