November 20, 2009
Published on tags: Superleague
Williamson Dynamics Grand Prix played down concerns that the team would struggle to compete effectively in their debut season in the GPVWC Superleague today, at a presentation held at the team's base - an imposing, state-of-the-art technical centre on the outskirts of Lancaster.

The team held back on the usual full press tour of the facility due to safety concerns regarding ongoing construction work. A spokesman explained further while we waited for the team's directors to present to the gathered press;

"The new extension is due to be completed by Spring 2010. We felt the need for a secondary wind tunnel, a new rig and beyond that, a base of operations on-site for any additional expansion to the team. I can confirm we are looking into DTM and F3."

Space doesn't seem to be something in short supply in the areas of team's base we were allowed to view, after sister outfit European F1 relocated to Stockholm. A barely concealed effort to end the consensus that Euorpean lived in the shadow of the works team, despite their shared heritage, ownership and infrastructure.

The vacant European complex is already a hub of activity as components for the WDF1.10, the teams Superleague chassis, are prepared for crash testing. Operations director, Marco Vandenbroeck, a potential candidate to race the new car, and an accomplished racer enlightened us a little;

"The WD-01 provided a great learning opportunity, and the devlopment process led to the WD-01/B which, as we know, showed itself as a race winner. We're confident that 90% of the technology is transferrable to both the WDF1.10, even though its for a different series, which has shortened the devlopment process considerably."

The team did confirm that a new aero package would be required after the aerodynamics of the car were adversely changed as a result of the new engine and gearbox requirements, but otherwise the car would be run as already designed.

"We have always been a prominent, race winning engine supplier in other series. If we can continue using WD engines in 2010, that would be great, but we are working on the assumption that won't be possible. Our engine facilities will remain open and fully funded regardless, as we are still contracted suppliers elsewhere."

The press area is littered with evidence of the team's acheivements as both an independent race team, and an engineering business. Successful partnerships with outfits such as OrangeTech Racing, have resulted in that particular outfit being pulled from the back of the grid to podiums and even a win. In addition to full works support, Orangetech enjoyed limited access to Williamson Dynamic's much admired testing, development and set-up programmes. Finally, team owner Ben Williamson entered the presentation area to enlighten us on numerous issues that had drawn the press together today.

Why make the switch? Can the team compete?

Answers were more than forthcoming;

"We're very pleased to have been allocated a licence for the GPVWC superleague. I know most fans associate us with Formula Sim Racing, but we feel GPVWC is exactly the kind of series we should be running in."

"From the off, the regulations and community of the GPVWC Superleague were far more in tune with our current operating methods than our previous home could offer for 2010. We feel the sponsorship funding we can bring to GPVWC will allows us to invest in the series, which allows a mutually beneficial relationship. I'd love to see GPVWC enjoy live broadcasts, and it no doubt will eventually. This is a progressive and professional series of which we are proud to be a new part, and we are just releived to get here early, to further establish our pedigree."

Williamson then addressed concerns over competetivness;

"People who think we will be walked all over coming into a new series, should look seriously at our track record in Sim Racing. We got wins, fastest laps and podiums in our debut season, and even points in our first race. I strongly believe our internal driver development programme is one of the best out there today - Just look at Rizwan Sarwar [2009 debutant with European F1] - in a few months we took him from DNQ's to points finishes. When we sign a driver, we are behind him 110% for as long as it takes, and its already proven to pay off."

He continued; "We have the testing programme, the funding and the attitude required to make an impact in GPVWC in 2010, and we can't wait to get started. I'd expect to see us picking up points regularly at the very least"

In closure Williamson stressed the continuation of the team's open door policy.

"Teams and drivers should always feel free to contact us about anything, fun shouldbe the primary concern in Sim Racing, or else no-one would be motivated. Paying drivers out of the established system [popular in FSR] is counter-productive.. it stops teams being economically viable, this puts off sponsors and eventually teams become financial black holes. We've looked around, and really feel this series is the one to take Sim Racing to the next level in the public conciousness, and we'll co-operate with any and all teams to ensure a bright future for us all."

WD enjoyed huge popularity in the FSR paddock for its easy-going approach. Even providing pizza, beer and coffee to wandering rival mechanics in their pit garage. This lack of corporate culture ensured a growing fanbase, which the team hopes to retain in 2010.