|Full name||Bacardi Stealth Renault|
|Base||Peterborough, Ontario, Canada|
|Team Principal||Ted Cragg|
|Technical director||Kyran Brazier|
|Race drivers||David Brown|
|Test drivers||Mal McKee|
|Engine||Renault RS27 2.4L V8|
|Début||San Marino 2002|
|Last Race||Brazil 2006|
The team was known for its professional approach to sim racing, taking competition very seriously and pushing the boundaries of the simulated racing world. Stealth has earned the respect of its competitors by setting benchmarks for livery design, logos and press releases, while preaching and demonstrating in practice the values of fair play, hard work, organization and dedication. The popular 'Stealth blue' image was known around the world, a credit to landmark designer Justin Ziarko and since taken to new levels by award-winning Kyran Brazier.
Stealth claimed one victory, three pole positions, six podiums and 41 race starts to its credit since its first GPVWC race at San Marino, 2002. The team equalled its best ever finish with 5th in the 2006 Constructors Championship, scoring a new team high of 56 points.
Notable drivers associated with Stealth blue include Joe Consiglio, the #1 driver in 2002 and 2003 who scored the team's first victory, David Brown, who carried the team in its second incarnation, Andy Sieber, Erdem Coban, Eric Sosa, Ryan McConkey, Phil Perkins and Matias Trosset.
Stealth Grand Prix was born out of the Marlboro-Yamaha team in the GP2World Championship. Marlboro-Yamaha was founded by Australian Joshua Day, originally as a one-car team, but when Canadian Ted Cragg joined the new league in its early days the team added a second car for him. A respectable year saw Marlboro-Yamaha finish 7th in the overall Constructors Championship, while Day finished 10th in the A Class and Cragg third in the B Class.
Day retired from the league after that first season, and ownership of the team fell solely to Cragg. He decided to re-brand the outfit and it was launched for the 2001 GP2World season as Stealth Grand Prix. Cragg himself retired from regular racing to concentrate on management, and a new driver was found in Jake Oliveira. In his very first race in Brazil, Oliveira took pole, fastest lap and the victory, Stealth's first win in just its second race. Despite the success, the Briton would not last long in the league and left just weeks later. Stealth's ambitious efforts continued though as the team expanded to four cars during the 2001 season and scored another pole position. By the end of the summer, the resources were stretched, the team's drivers failed to pan out and Stealth began to regroup. September 2001 marked a massive driver recruitment effort, highlighted by the discovery of Mariano Malisani in the LFRS series, who joined Stealth as a driver and administrator and would go on to have a lengthy career in sim racing.
Panasonic Stealth Honda
With the age of the Grand Prix 2 simulator, the GP2World series was starting to wind down by the 2002 season. Stealth continued to contest races, but began to search for other series as well. Initially, entries were made into the CART Racing League and the IGP3 Championship. It was in March of 2002 though that Cragg came across the GPVWC. Greatly impressed, he placed the team on the league's waiting list, which proved to be a very short wait as within two weeks the MaMa Racing team was put up for sale. Cragg's offer was quickly accepted and Stealth assumed all the assets of MaMa, including works Honda engines and most of all incumbent driver Joe Consiglio, who had just signed for the team. The Stealth name appeared on the VWC grid for the first time at the 2002 San Marino Grand Prix. Consiglio qualified a remarkable 2nd for his first GPVWC race and finished 4th, ahead of future champion Mikko Jakonen.
Stealth quickly made a positive impression in the league with some impressive results and its commitment as a reliable member of the league. Consiglio went from strength to strength, scoring another 4th in Austria and the team's first podium at their home race in Canada. At the next event in Europe, the Maltese driver scored his first ever pole but engine failure was to deny him a chance to shine in the race. New recruit Andy Sieber softened the blow with a solid 3rd place finish. Consiglio took his 2nd career pole at the French Grand Prix, and his second podium of the year in Germany, finishing the year with 37 points.
|Grand Prix||#||Driver 1||FP||Qual||Race||#||Driver 2||FP||Qual||Race||#||Tester||FP|
|San Marino||14||Joe Consiglio||-||2||4||15||Brian Bloemendal||-||18||DNS||T||-||-|
|Spain||14||Joe Consiglio||-||4||DNF||15||Martin Ortiz||-||12||10||T||-||-|
|Austria||14||Joe Consiglio||-||4||4||15||Martin Ortiz||-||12||DNS||T||-||-|
|Monaco||14||Joe Consiglio||-||DNS||DNS||15||Martin Ortiz||-||DNS||DNS||T||-||-|
|Canada||14||Joe Consiglio||-||3||3||15||Erdem Coban||-||8||7||T||-||-|
|Europe||14||Joe Consiglio||-||1||DNS||15||Andy Sieber||-||11||3||T||-||-|
|United Kingdom||14||Joe Consiglio||-||4||5||15||Andy Sieber||-||10||11||T||-||-|
|France||14||Joe Consiglio||-||1||4||15||Andy Sieber||-||9||12||T||-||-|
|Germany||14||Joe Consiglio||-||5||3||15||Andy Sieber||-||13||11||T||-||-|
|Hungary||14||Joe Consiglio||-||DQ||DNF||15||Andy Sieber||-||10||9||T||-||-|
|Belgium||14||Joe Consiglio||-||4||4||15||Andy Sieber||-||DNS||DNS||T||-||-|
|Italy||14||Joe Consiglio||-||11||8||15||Andrew Cooper||-||18||12||T||-||-|
|United States||14||Joe Consiglio||-||6||DNS||15||Andrew Cooper||-||18||11||T||-||-|
|Japan||14||Joe Consiglio||-||DNS||DNS||15||Andrew Cooper||-||12||DNS||T||-||-|
Vodafone Stealth BMW
Stealth entered the 2002/2003 off-season with ambitious plans to earn their way quickly up the grid. With Joe Consiglio anchoring the team, the potential was already there. What remained was to assemble a technical package worthy of his talents.
BMW engines, the league's best, had powered the Hernj-Roaldo team to eight wins in the 2002 season, more than any other team. With H-R departing the league after 2002, these top notch powerplants became available. Team Principal Ted Cragg put together a solid sales pitch to the company and the league Admin, and Stealth were rewarded with a lucrative three year deal for works BMW horsepower.
To pay for that power, the team needed substantial new sponsorship. Through Cragg's efforts the team secured Vodafone, fresh off their prominent new contract with the Ferrari F1 team, to be Stealth's title sponsors as well. It was the single-greatest monetary deal of any sponsor on the grid.
These deals were reinforced by further sponsorship from MCI, Agfa and HP, the latter being the lone sponsor to carry over from 2002. Stealth also broke new ground by featuring a charity logo, Make Trade Fair, on the car's livery in place of a secondary sponsor.
Consiglio of course could only be one half of the equation; Stealth needed a strong 2nd full time driver to improve on the rotation of drivers in 2002. After scouring the leagues of the world, Cragg stumbled upon Mexican Eric Sosa, and recruited him to the GPVWC. Sosa carried much promise, enthusiasm and a positive team-first attitude which earned him platitudes before the season even began.
No F1 team can win without a strong test team. To that end, Cragg recruited a further two drivers to the league: Australian Martin Mirakhour and Portuguese Miguel Oliveira. To cap things off, the team's 2002 test driver was also introduced as the team's new vice-president: Irishman Karl White.
Vodafone Stealth BMW dominated the pre-season test sessions, setting numerous lap records at tracks such as Barcelona and Silverstone with Joe Consiglio and the surprising Mirakhour, who was quickly recognized as the fastest driver not racing full time. The team entered the start of the season as title favourites, alongside BA Racing and defending champions Mapes-VO.
Consiglio did not disappoint in Melbourne, taking pole position for the first race of the year, the third of his career. A hard fought race with Mikko Jakonen saw him finish 2nd, just 4.8 seconds away from his first win. At the second race in Malaysia, Consiglio qualified 4th but again finished 2nd. With Jakonen finishing 3rd, the two were tied for first in the Drivers Championship after two races. Eric Sosa meanwhile kept up his end of the bargain with two top-ten finishes to start the year.
The bottom of course fell out after the 2003 GPVWC Malaysian Grand Prix. The league was overcome by internal turmoil and was briefly shut down. Consiglio and Mirakhour left due to the instability, and Cragg, in shock, briefly did so as well. Sosa carried on and Gene Annunziata was brought in by the new league admin to manage the still-formidable Stealth assets, under the name Annunziata Racing.
A more positive atmosphere encouraged Cragg to return in July of 2003. The league was gradually recovering in stability and, despite numbers lower than at the start of the year, still featured very competitive racing. Annunziata vacated and Stealth returned for the French Grand Prix, with Sosa still behind the wheel and now joined by ex-KRB driver Chris Galloway. Sosa finished a career-best 4th at that race, and the pair would go on to score points at almost every event.
With Sosa away during the week of the 2003 Italian Grand Prix, Stealth needed an interim driver. Joe Consiglio remained in contact with Cragg, and the timing worked out well for both concerned. The league was in the midst of an exciting three-way battle for the Drivers Championship, and although he was no longer a contender, Consiglio knew that he could still play a part in the final results. Thus, he returned for one race.
It would prove to be one for the ages. Consiglio scored pole position, his second in three races, and beat Daniel Wilkinson and Mikko Jakonen to the finish by over thirty seconds for his and Stealth's first GPVWC victory. In so doing, Consiglio did play a significant role in the final standings, which were won by Shiro Ryong by just one point over Wilkinson. The victory gave Consiglio 26 points in just three races, still good for 8th in the final standings. In just three races, he led more laps than all but the top three drivers.
Sosa and Galloway enjoyed fine seasons too, scoring 35 and 17 points respectively. Altogether, the points scored by Stealth under the Stealth name totaled 39, good for 5th place in the championship despite just nine races entered. The team also welcomed two special guest drivers for the last two races of the year: William Ponissi and Mariano Malisani. After such a tumultuous season, the final month was clearly punctuated with many happy memories.
|Grand Prix||#||Driver 1||FP||Qual||Race||#||Driver 2||FP||Qual||Race||#||Tester||FP|
|Australia||7||Joe Consiglio||-||1||2||8||Eric Sosa||-||7||10||T||-||-|
|Malaysia||7||Joe Consiglio||-||4||2||8||Eric Sosa||-||5||9||T||-||-|
|France||7||Eric Sosa||-||7||4||8||Chris Galloway||-||8||8||T||-||-|
|United Kingdom||7||Eric Sosa||-||5||6||8||Chris Galloway||-||6||8||T||-||-|
|Germany||7||Eric Sosa||-||3||7||8||Chris Galloway||-||4||10||T||-||-|
|Hungary||7||Eric Sosa||-||4||10||8||Chris Galloway||-||11||8||T||-||-|
|Italy||7||Joe Consiglio||-||1||1||8||Chris Galloway||-||9||12||T||-||-|
|United States||7||Mariano Malisani||-||16||14||8||William Ponissi||-||20||16||T||-||-|
|Japan||7||Mariano Malisani||-||13||DNS||8||Paul Heyhoe||-||13||DNS||T||-||-|
Stealth headed towards the 2004 F1VWC season facing many unprecedented obstacles. Joe Consiglio was permanently retired, busy with a new life at university. Eric Sosa departed the league in favour of the TL GPChampionship. Chris Galloway was coming back, but likely just as a test driver and not a full time racer like in 2003.
The team was also in serious financial trouble. The league's most expensive engines had not been offset by enough sponsorship or prize money income, certainly to the level that had been expected a year earlier. Stealth defaulted on its payments, the contract was nullified and BMW joined with MMC Racing.
Stealth was also caught off guard by losing its second engine option, works Toyota engines, to Woods Racing, who had ultimately offered the company a much better contract. They were thus reduced to signing their third engine option, Volkswagen, a completely untested F1 engine and the last engine deal to be signed before the 2004 season.
The driver search was a further challenge. Talks with stand-out Kieran Ryan broke down and the Irishman declared a sabbatical year in January, 2004. Newcomer Dave Cummings was signed as test & development driver to partner Galloway, alongside more new but unproven drivers Andreas Wagner of Switzerland and Marek Liolias, the league's first Czech driver.
The strains of assembling a livery, launch, test program, website and ongoing administrative tasks proved too much for Ted Cragg at that point in time. At the end of January, he quickly and quietly negotiated a deal with Cummings to sell the assets of Stealth. Cragg retained only the use of the Stealth name. He announced his retirement in the first week of February 2004, and the Puma F1 team was born. It looked like Cragg would be gone for good.
The "permanent" retirement did not last long though for Cragg, who was bitten by the bug and placed Stealth back on the GPVWC waiting list in June of 2004. Anticipating a long road to a full return, the team took slow steps and Cragg mostly concentrated on the F1VWC Magazine. At the end of the year, Stealth was bypassed in favour of Bracciano Racing, RTT GreenVipers and JPR Grand Prix for the three available spots on the grid. Although this seemed like a huge setback, it ultimately proved extremely fortuitous for the team. Stealth regrouped and launched a new parent company, Stealth International. SI had entered into a partnership with the veteran SCUM team in December of 2004 to provide logistical and administrative support. The plan at that time was to still wait until the next opening on the grid, and bring the Stealth name back to the paddock.
That opening occurred much sooner than expected, and in the team's own backyard. SCUM owners Dan Regan and Rab Harding jointly decided to retire from the league after three half-seasons. The 2005 season had been difficult and car development was not at the expected level. The decision was made in July of 2005 and the pair quickly offered the reins to Cragg. Stealth International assumed full ownership of SCUM immediately, and the team personnel were merged with that of MMC Racing, whose assets were sold to Woods Racing. The team finished out the year as SCUM before the name was given an honourable send-off after the final race of the year.
Bacardi Stealth Renault
Preparations for the 2006 GPVWC season began in earnest in August of 2005. The first and most important task was to secure a solid lineup of two full time drivers. The team employed its best talent scouts to search for available talent, and found two clear candidates from within the league. Phil Perkins was a veteran of seventeen F1 races by September, 2005, driving for four teams: Woods Racing, [[JPR], Puma F1 and championship leaders FinOz. With much enthusiasm and excitement, the two sides discussed terms for 2006 and Perkins became the first Stealth driver since 2003.
Much was already known about David Brown by the autumn of 2006, particularly his vaunted commitment and reliability that had seen him miss just two races in his first two GPVWC seasons. After scoring eleven points for Simsoa Racing-VR in 2004, he and the team had struggled to earn just one point in 2005, and Brown was looking for a new challenge. Stealth offered him a test run in the car and, again, after detailed discussions the two sides agreed on a deal for the new season. Little did they know at that point how well it would turn out.
Stealth approached the 2006 season with much the same attitude as that going into the 2003 season. They had to earn the best deals possible to provide the tools necessary. Once again, the team benefited from powerful engines suddenly becoming available, after Phoenix F1 retired from the league in November, 2005. Stealth quickly put together a presentation and outbid its rivals to secure a three year works Renault engine deal. This time, to pay for the engines the team opted for the fun, exciting image of Bacardi, who became the new title sponsors. Vodafone in fact returned as a minor sponsor, along with BlueScope Steel, the last link to the SCUM team. Stealth signed Bridgestone tyres to get a leg up on the competition before the 2007 season, and Repsol fuel.
The test team was complemented by the addition of rookie Danny Bolman of the Netherlands, competing in his first GPVWC season. Bolman was signed as the team's official Test & Reserve Driver, and would participate in each Free Practice session, in addition to racing in the Supercup for Vod:Bul F2. The team brought GPVWC veteran Mal McKee back to the F1 scene as its second test driver, and gained great benefit from his years of experience. An exciting new find was Argentinian Matias Trosset, the nephew of former Formula One driver Norberto Fontana, who would also be making his F1VWC début. Although untested over the rigours of a full season, Trosset showed many signs of brilliant speed.
The season ahead was expected to be very competitive, with even fast drivers scraping for just a few points, due to the level of talent in the league. Brown came flying out of the gate at the first race in Belgium, finishing 6th to equal his career best. This was repeated at the next race and then improved on in Australia with a very impressive 4th place finish. Brown scored points in six of the first nine races and found himself leading the battle for 5th place in the Drivers Championship, which amounted to best of the rest.
Perkins worked hard at adapting to the car and scored his first point at Australia. The results weren't coming as quickly as his team-mate's though and the atmosphere was getting tense. An opening for change occurred in June. Stealth F1 was awarded the grid spot of Mapes-VO, and launched the new Synergetic F1 team. The driver rotation began, with first Perkins and Trosset lining up at Synergetic, and then Trosset swapping with Bolman at Stealth.
Brown continued to expand on his potential, while Trosset began proving his, equalling the team's best finish of the year with a 4th place in France. At that race, Stealth scored a single race best seven points, and continued to be in the running for third place in the Constructors Championship, and certainly a contender for 4th.
In Italy, Stealth convinced Kari Koski, who had just won his second straight GPVWC Supercup Drivers Championship for Stealth F2, to substitute for one race while David Brown was away. Koski responded with another 4th place finish for the team, only a pit stop bug away from scoring the team's first podium.
The team pushed on through the final three races of the season, scoring nine points between Brown and Trosset. They were agonizingly denied their goals though, as Laurent Keersmaekers' fourth win of the year edged out Brown for 5th place in the Drivers Championship by three points. Stealth led RTT GreenVipers by one point going into the penultimate race of the year, but were out-scored by RTT ten to five in the final two events, finishing 5th in the Constructors Championship by just four points. Stealth did stay ahead of EIRE though, beating its long-time rivals by two points for the top five finish.
All in all, it was an outstanding year for a team that hadn't competed for a full season as Stealth since 2002. What was the SCUM team in 2005, scoring two points in the year, became 56 points under the Stealth name in 2006. Stealth scored points in fifteen of the eighteen races on the year, including points in each of the last eight events.
At the year-end awards ceremonies, Stealth won four of the nine awards, including Best Livery, Best Press Releases, Best of the Rest for David Brown and Surprise Driver of the Season for David Brown. The team tied Vod:Bul for second for Surprise Team of the Year, and Bolman was 7th and Trosset 10th in voting for Rookie of the Year.
Stealth Team Launch 2007
Bacardi Stealth Renault launched their 2007 contender on Sunday, March 4, 2007, in front of numerous VIP celebrities and media. The launch took place at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain, site of the third official pre-season test for the GPVWC. In contrast to the team's previous launch in 2006, which was a celebration of the return of Stealth to the F1 track and took place in a star-studded setting at the Casino de Montreal, Canada, the 2007 launch was a more efficient and modest event that celebrated the achievements thus far and the exciting prospects of the season to come.
Interviews, the official Press Release and a fine Gallery of images of the 2007 car and brand new drivers' helmets are visible here.
Bacardi Stealth Renault
At the end of the 2006 season, David Brown announced his retirement from the GPVWC. After three years and career-best finish in 2006, the English driver was close to burnout. After a quiet off-season, Stealth got to work in January of 2007 on finding two new drivers. The team had commenced discussions and testing with Irishman Philip Cullen in the fall of 2006, and these talks picked up again in the new year. Cullen had driven previously for Woods Racing and KOT in 2006, impressing with his consistency and persistence in driving struggling cars. At the final race of the season in Brazil, Cullen brought the Woods car home in 10th place, his first top ten finish. Over two seasons, he started five races for Woods and two for KOT, completing the qualifying and race sessions in every race entered.
With the team needing a reliable, positive and committed driver, Cullen fit the bill perfectly. Plus he had demonstrated many signs of potential and growth during his GPVWC career, and Stealth was very pleased to give him the opportunity to improve further.
The task was still only half completed, before David Brown and Stealth began new discussions on 2007. The long break had been helpful for all involved, and suddenly things seemed much more optimistic and positive for 2007. As the league solidified its rules and set up for the new year, things became clearer. Brown's decision wasn't a spontaneous one, but after a couple weeks of consideration he decided to return for another year. Stealth could thus boast an excellent line-up for 2007 and a great opportunity to build on the successes of 2006.
The 2007 Bacardi Stealth Renault driver line-up was announced on February 11, 2007. The return of David Brown caught most people off-guard but was a welcome surprise. Augmenting the race drivers would be Mal McKee, back for another year, and the addition of car designer Kyran Brazier to the test team. Brazier had previously tested for Simsoa Racing-VR, where he had teamed with David Brown and, after designing the Stealth car in 2006, already had a good relationship with the team. Team Principal Ted Cragg was also confirmed as a regular test driver. Cragg had returned to the track in mid-2006 after nearly four years away from driving. New tools at his disposal, combined with a clear need by the team, resulted in him participating in the last seven Free Practice sessions of the year for Stealth, after making his début at his home Canadian Grand Prix. Cragg also began competing full time for Synergetic F2, partnering McKee, and enjoyed getting back into the rigours of regular racing.
The Stealth Team Launch 2007 took place on Sunday, March 4 at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain. At the event, attended by many special GPVWC VIP guests, the team unveiled its latest stunning Stealth livery, featured interviews with team personnel and provided an on-track demonstration of the car.
|Grand Prix||#||Driver 1||FP||Qual||Race||#||Driver 2||FP||Qual||Race||#||Tester||FP|
|Australia||9||David Brown||10||Philip Cullen||T|
|Malaysia||9||David Brown||10||Philip Cullen||T|
|Bahrain||9||David Brown||10||Philip Cullen||T|
|Spain||9||David Brown||10||Philip Cullen||T|
|Monaco||9||David Brown||10||Philip Cullen||T|
|Canada||9||David Brown||10||Philip Cullen||T|
|United States||9||David Brown||10||Philip Cullen||T|
|France||9||David Brown||10||Philip Cullen||T|
|United Kingdom||9||David Brown||10||Philip Cullen||T|
|Germany||9||David Brown||10||Philip Cullen||T|
|Hungary||9||David Brown||10||Philip Cullen||T|
|Turkey||9||David Brown||10||Philip Cullen||T|
|Italy||9||David Brown||10||Philip Cullen||T|
|Belgium||9||David Brown||10||Philip Cullen||T|
|Japan||9||David Brown||10||Philip Cullen||T|
|China||9||David Brown||10||Philip Cullen||T|
|Brazil||9||David Brown||10||Philip Cullen||T|