|Full name||Cosmo Seiki Japan|
|Team principal/s||Joshua Anderson|
|Race drivers|| 6. Mike Bell |
13. James Lambert
|GPVWC Supercup Career|
|Races competed||0 (91 FC)|
|Race victories||0 (1 FC)|
|Podiums||0 (4 FC)|
|Fastest laps||0 (1 FC)|
Cosmo Seiki Japan is a Japanese sim-racing team, based in Hamamatsu. They are competing in the 2017 Supercup season and 2017 International Touring Cup season in GPVWC, competing in the Ladder with numbers 39 and 91 - their designated numbers for Career Ladder competition.
The team are possibly famous for their rather garish car liveries, but more likely well known for their laid-back atmosphere, and for bringing new or unknown promising talent in GPVWC a chance to shine whilst also giving existing talent a new background to enjoy themselves within.
- 1 Origins: The Anderson-Allington era
- 2 2014
- 3 2015
- 4 2016
- 5 2017
Origins: The Anderson-Allington era
Cosmo Seiki Japan was originally set up in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England as Cosmo Autosport in September 2013 by then-newcomer to simracing Joshua Anderson - mainly as a vehicle for entering himself into the Gentleman's Racing Club (GRC) Season 15 Trophy event. While he didn't do well in the race, the team began to develop into a more long-term project - to give new sim-racing talent a chance to shine, encouraged by Anderson's own frustrations and experience of the difficulties of a new driver finding a drive in a series.
During their initial, early months, Anderson remained a driver in the team and Cosmo secured entries into the latter rounds of two series at XtremeRPM: their 2013 World Endurance Championship and 2013 Xtreme Touring Car Championship. Anderson, alongside Matthew Allington who had recently started a new team in YTF1 (and indeed introduced Anderson to simracing!), would be the key components in the team's outset, and were set to partner up in the WEC in the LMPC class, driving a Creation CA06H - but Anderson later pulled the team from the series after a disagreement as to the running of that particular series. Anderson and Allington did team up in the final round of the XTCC series, in a Lada Priora and Seat Ibiza respectively. Anderson would take his first simracing pole position through a reverse grid in race 2.
It was around this time after securing entries into the WSVR 2014A BTCC championship as well as several other series, that Joshua chose to formally attempt to bring the team to the GPVWC. He had applied previously to enter the 2013 World GT series season with the team, fielding a Ferrari F430, but the application was unsuccessful.
WSS 2014: The new boys
Cosmo Autosport's GPVWC debut would come in the 2014 WSS season, where they would take car numbers 38 and 39, in their distinctive white/green/pink colours. They would field GPVWC newcomer Rob Mason and TheSixthAxis Racing stalwart Cameron Brewster, the latter driving for a team other than a TSA-associated one for only the second time in his GPVWC career (after his 2013 Formula Challenge stint with United Racers Motosport). The team's debut at Bahrain went exceedingly well, with Mason having finished 20th and 14th - scoring points in his debut round - and Brewster finishing 13th and 4th. In doing so, the team gained their first points, and first top-5 in their history - and Brewster also gave the team their first laps in the lead, having taken the lead on lap 1 of race 2 and holding it until lap 3 before being overtaken by David Jundt.
Strong, surprising finishes would be the theme of the team's WSS season - Brewster went on to score points in all but two of the races he participated in, including the team's first podium in Spain (Brewster finished 2nd in race 2) and Mason continued to perform well and score occasional points, both drivers having never experienced WSS before. Brewster eventually finished 10th in the Drivers' Championship, and Mason's points would aid Cosmo to 9th in the Teams' championship. Team boss Anderson himself, alongside Alexander van der Woude, would both step in for Mason and Brewster at the Austrian round. van der Woude would not finish race 1 but scored 28th in race 2; Anderson managed 29th and 25th. This would be the only 2-race weekend of the season where the team did not score points.
ITC 2014: "Is that a new record?"
Cosmo also made the grid for the 2014 ITC season, where they would field the BMW 1-series. Their drivers were initially revealed as David Nannen and Superleague veteran Tom van der Voort. The season was to be a disaster for the team, with Nannen having consistent issues with the car in Bahrain to begin with. Nannen left the team, still on good terms with the team however, after the first round. He would soon be replaced by newcomer Max Spooner, the team returning to their idea of new talent. However, after taking part in the round at Pukekohe, Spooner would fail to show for any further rounds, and was eventually replaced by another new driver, Thomas Hinss. Hinss would drive for the team until Laguna Seca, where he would leave the team of his own accord to pursue a FWD seat at Nijo Racing.
This led to the signing of Todor Pangev, who would drive at the USA round (missing the first race), but would not show up for the Japanese round. For the final round at Interlagos, Pangev was replaced with Tomeu Cabrer, again new to GPVWC. The team finished almost last in the Teams' championship, having scored only 4 points, all by van der Voort. The team had a total of 8 drivers during the season (Matthew Allington stood in for van der Voort at the Czech round of the championship and team boss Anderson had a stint at Adelaide, where neither car showed up after van der Voort reported his absence in advance, but Anderson was unable to find a reserve in time).
FC 2014: Turning up fashionably late
Cosmo would apply for the 2014 FC season, but ultimately be unsuccessful. However, they would get their chance, taking the vacancy left when Airastream Motorsport withdrew from the series. Inheriting the #7 and #8 cars (which remain their lowest regular numbers in any GPVWC series), the team quickly snapped up ex-Airastream recruit Scott Sovik as a reserve driver, and Superleague reserve Ben Horrill and newcomer Richard Coxon in the race seats, Coxon making his GPVWC debut after much success in historics. The team would score some solid points in what was to be a learning season for them, with Coxon learing to drive the modern open-wheelers and Horrill experiencing an extended FC seat for the first time, having completed a brief stint for nFinity eSports Racing in 2013.
The team saw considerable success, with four 6th places - two by Horrill and one by Coxon. The other 6th was taken by TouringProSeries legend Tim Heinemann, making a one-off appearance for the team on his GPWVC debut. Ironically, Anderson was completely unaware of the German's previous success when he hired Heinemann and was rather shocked to find out how well he'd done in TPS. Heinemann would later see drives for Aurora Motorsports and Supercup outfit Edonis Engineering. The team finished 18th in the Teams' championship. Having only done 3/4 of the season however, it remained to be seen how they would fare in a full season.
FC 2015: Back for a second course
Cosmo were granted entry into the 2015 Formula Challenge season, and signed the returning Coxon alongside ex-EGP driver Hansko Mebius. They were initially to take car numbers #18 and #19, before the introduction of a Ladder-wide numbering system. The team eventually chose car numbers #39 and #53 as their numbers, the #39 returning to the team after Cameron Brewster's success with it in the team's WSS 2014 campaign - and the #53 being one of team owner Anderson's several lucky numbers.
The first three rounds were somewhat of a disappointment for the team, scoring only 18 points from the first 3 rounds. The team's misfortune continued when then-primary driver Coxon would step down to a reserve role in the team. Anderson soon snapped up Open Series talent Patrick Wannemuller as the new driver of the #53 from Portugal onwards.
Wannemuller would impress upon his signing, and throughout his season - gaining the team's first FC podium in Hungary and two 4th place finishes in Belgium. He followed this up by taking the fastest lap and 2 points in Italy's first race, and yet another 4th place in race 2. It was Singapore, however, where Wannemuller would show just what he was capable of - taking a thrilling lights-to-flag victory (Wannemuller and the team's first in FC) from reverse grid pole position, brilliantly holding off Ice Cold's Eric Stranne and MadCape's Lars Brugman to do so. Mebius would start alongside him this race, and ultimately drop to 3rd at the start before spinning twice and retiring.
The team's season continued well and they finished 10th in the Teams' championship - now truly establishing themselves as a top 10 team.
WSS 2015: The crusade begins and ends
After their strong 2014 season, Cosmo were granted the sixth space in the roster, with car numbers #11 and #12 - being the sixth highest out of thirteen returning entries from 2014. They announced Matt Richards and Matthew Chirgwin as their drivers. The team would score well, however Chrigwin stepped down after the Canadian round, leaving a vacancy in the team.
Richards would later depart the team also, leaving the team in a bind and missing races. The hiring of Pedro Oliveira aided affairs - the Brazilian stunning everyone by scoring a podium in his very first GPVWC event - but the team still ended 12th in the standings come the end of the season, and initially opted not to return for 2016 after their many missed races.
ITC 2015: New drivetrain, new hope, new found success!
Cosmo would return for the 2015 ITC season. After their disastrous 2014 season in the BMW however, they would run a front-wheel drive car for 2015 - the Chevrolet Cruze - as used by last year's Teams' champions THR. The team would compete with numbers #28 and #29, fielding Sam Jones and a returning Alexander van der Woude respectively.
van der Woude would only compete in one round however, after being replaced by a returning Scott Sovik for round 1 and stepping down after round 2. Richards, the team's former driver of the #11 WSS car, would take the vacated seat and vastly helped the team's initially poor run of form by winning 2 of the 3 races of the round at Snetterton, albeit with a slight incident in Race 3 which later led to a demotion due to a penalty, handing the win to Sven de Vries. His win in race 1 marked the team's first ever win in GPVWC, the closest until then having been Brewster's 2nd place in the 2014 Spanish Sport Series.
Richards would continue to win races, and Jones would find form near the end of the season. The temporary signing of Andrew Waring for the Canadian round in Richards' stead lead to two second places and a fifth in one race weekend, and the team ended the season 7th - a new best finish for the team. Richards would finish 5th in the Drivers' Championship.
Masters 2016: Be afraid, be very afraid... then don't
Cosmo were selected as one of 15 teams to enter the newly-refreshed Masters Series. The team, pre-season, boasted about their "best lineup ever" - and backed this up when announcing their drivers as Waring and Richards, Richards returning after his ITC success and Waring making his full-time debut at Cosmo. The Masters Series was not the only thing refreshed for 2016 - Cosmo entered the year with an all-new colour scheme, changing from white/green/pink to the new dark blue/white/pink, reminiscent of the team's lesser known "retro" colour scheme (the only difference being the pink, which in the "retro" scheme is green).
While the first two rounds went fairly well for the team, issues arose at the third round at Laguna Seca. Waring opted to step down from his drive in the team, and was replaced for the American round by Sovik, making yet another one-off appearance for the team. Richards would not be able to make the races at Laguna Seca, or the next round at Adelaide. Sovik did not score points in either of the two races at Laguna Seca.Neither car would run at Adelaide, but for the Brno round, Cosmo drafted in reigning Masters champion David Jundt to partner the returning Richards. This marked the very first time Cosmo ran the number 1 in a GPVWC series, and the first time they fielded a reigning champion in their lineup.
The team would end the season 9th out of 15 teams, a disappointing start to their 2016 campaign given their initial high hopes.
FC 2016: Third time the charm
Cosmo would return for the 2016 season, again with the numbers 39 and 53. The team targeted a top 7 finish after their successes in 2015 and aimed to possibly promote into the Supercup for 2017. Their drivers were announced as the returning Wannemuller and good friend Philipp Konig.
The season started well despite some bad luck for Konig in round 1 as Wannemuller would take a 4th place finish in the second race at Melbourne. A steady stream of points finishes would follow, including a 5th place for Konig and a further 2 5th places for his teammate. However, disaster struck when Wannemuller opted to leave the team following the Canadian round.
No replacement was found for the following 2 races however Tomeu Cabrer was selected as the German's replacement going forwards, his last drive for Cosmo coming in the final ITC round of 2014 (his GPVWC debut). Just 5 rounds after Wannemuller's departure, Konig too would leave the team following Hungary - leaving the team with none of their original lineup.
The new-to-rFactor 2 Roy Verzijl was drafted in to drive the #53 for the remainder of the season, with the execption of Monza where Lazaros Fillipakos would deputise for the Dutchman. While he struggled initially, Verzijl would find form soon enough and scored a 2nd place in the second race at Suzuka - the team's first podium finish of the year. Cabrer would pick up consistent points including a 4th place in race 1 at the Circuit of the Americas.
Verzijl would take a further 2nd place at Brazil and the team would consolidate their status as a top-10 outfit by finishing 10th in the Teams' Championship for the second time in two years.
World GT 2016: Finally...
The team were also accepted into the 2016 WGT season, after trying to enter in every year since 2013. They were given the numbers #11 and #12, and announced their drivers as a returning Thomas Hinss and former Supercup champion Bart de Vos. This would be Hinss' second drive at Cosmo and de Vos' first. Initially, the team were to use the Aston Martin Vantage but changed to the BMW Z4 pre-season.
While de Vos would being in a steady stream of points, the real star of the season was Hinss - showing top-5 form in most races, but being hindered by bad luck throughout the season. de Vos would leave the team after Belgium and would be replaced by Tobias Gruber who would only compete at Brno. The team finished the season 9th out of 15 in the Teams' standings, matching their Masters performance.
World Sport Series 2016: History repeats itself
To the surprise of the team, their application to the 2016 World Sport Series season was also approved, despite the interests levels in both WSS and WGT being very high. Only Ice Cold Racing would also appear in both WSS and WGT. The team were allocated the numbers #16 and #17. Initially drafting in a once-again-returning Alexander van der Woude and Luke Walsh, the team's campaign - now sporting an all-new colour scheme - would last just two rounds as van der Woude would leave after the season-opener in Russia. Jundt was brought back to the team for Spain but Walsh left the team after the round and Jundt headed to Hinss Motorsport; leading a frustrated Anderson to withdraw the team from the season. Cosmo had no plans to return to the series in 2017; however it was ultimately shelved after 2016.
Atlantic Series 2016: Impromptu team-building, go!
After just 10 teams signed up for the 2016 Atlantic Series season, Cosmo decided to seize the opportunity presented to them and join the grid, with cars #24 and #25 and using Chevrolet engines. The season saw a continuation of the colour scheme from WSS, which had now been adopted by the team for all future series from Atlantic onwards. van der Woude (a Cosmo regular by this point!) and Nicolas Hillebrand were announced as the team's drivers; however neither could make the first round at Sebring. Jundt and James Wilson would drive for the team instead- Jundt having an unlucky race to come home 12th and Wilson coming through the field to score 3rd and a podium on Cosmo's debut in the Atlantic Series. van der Woude and Hillebrand would return for Indianapolis; Hillebrand failed to finish and van der Woude came home 18th.
The pair would make history for the team at Charlotte Motor Speedway however; both drivers leading the race at points and Hillebrand ultimately taking the win and van der Woude third - marking the team's first double-podium. While Hillebrand failed to finish any of the subsequent two races, van der Woude took a 10th at Road America and reserve driver Domian Trappe stepped in for the Dutchman at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and finished 12th. The team ended 4th in the Teams' Championship; a new best result in what would turn out to be their only Atlantic season with the series being shelved in 2017.
SC 2017: Trial by fire
Cosmo's 10th place in the 2016 Formula Challenge season would prove to be enough for the team to finally achieve their goal of being promoted into the Supercup, making the 13-team grid for the 2017 Supercup season. 2017 would see the first full year of the team's new colour scheme being rolled out in GPVWC competition, and also a change in the team's Career Ladder numbers - keeping the #39 but exchanging their #53 as used by Patrick Wannemuller Wannemuller and Verzijl for the #91 vacated by Backmarker Brigade after the team retired from GPVWC competition. Cosmo announced their 2017 Supercup drivers as Andrejs Pestovs and Ben Willis in the #39 and #91 cars respectively.
Notably, it is at this time that Cosmo's team base moved from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England to Hamamatsu, Japan, with the team citing their desire to improve further on their 2017 successes, as well as the change from Cosmo Autsport to Cosmo Seiki. The team would shortly afterwards re-sign Wannemuller to the team in a reserve capacity, the German making his return after racing for the team in Formula Challenge in 2014 and then throughout 2015 and 2016.
Willis and Pestovs would have a solid, if not entirely points-yielding start to the season, however Pestovs would change this with a 12th place finish in the feature race at Shanghai, earning 4 points. After the Chinese round, Willis would step down from his seat citing a desire to focus on his Superleague commitments. Gerrit de Vries would make his Cosmo debut by deputising at Valencia, while a long-term replacement for Willis was sought.
de Vries would soon leave the team, being promoted to a full time drive at Green Stripes Racing. This left Cosmo in a bind, trying with varying degrees of success to fill both cars as the season progressed and drivers became harder to come by.
WGT 2017: Back for more
Cosmo lodged an application into the 2017 World GT Series season and were accepted, fielding a pair of McLaren 650S-es. The team would be given cars #7 and #8 - matching their 2014 Formula Challenge numbers as their lowest in a GPVWC series, but the first time the team were allocated them instead of inheriting them.
ITC 2017: New look, new enthusiasm
|"They've failed to finish!"|
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