The Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team made its re-launch debut at the 2010 F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, with both of its drivers scoring points for the fledgling team. Nico Rosberg finished the race in fifth place, scoring 10 points, with seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher hot on his heels in sixth place, scoring 8 points.
Having competed in Grand Prix motor racing in the 1930s, Mercedes-Benz first entered the F1 racing scene back in 1954. The team enjoyed a measure of success that season, as well as the following season, after which it withdrew from the sport, although Mercedes continued with part ownerships and supplied engines through the 1990s and into the new century.
The team is based in Brackley, Northamptonshire, UK. The CEO of the team is Nick Fry, with Ross Brawn (of former Brawn GP – winner of the 2009 Constructors championship) and Norbert Haug as team principals. The legendary Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg are the team’s drivers, with Nick Heidfeld as test driver. Interestingly, all three drivers are German.
Certainly, with the wealth of talent in the team, and the excellence of the Mercedes product, there is plenty of excitement ahead for the Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team as the Formula One Championships progress.
Virgin Racing made its F1 debut as one of the four new teams granted entry to the 2010 Formula One Championships. Originally granted entry as Manor Grand Prix on 12 June 2009, the team changed its name to reflect its title sponsor – Richard Branson’s Virgin Group – with the FIA releasing a revised entry list with the team’s new name on 30 November 2009.
Virgin Racing is based in Dinnington, South Yorkshire, England, with John Booth as the team principal and Nick Wirth as the technical director. The team’s drivers are Timo Glock of Germany, and Lucas di Grassi of Brazil, with test drivers being Luiz Razia (Brazil) and Andy Soucek (Spain). The team boasts cars designed entirely using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Its chassis is the VR-01 with Cosworth CA2010 engine and sporting Bridgestone tires. While the team is based in Dinnington, the development and production of the cars is handled by Wirth Research, based in Bicester. Virgin owns eighty percent of the team, with other sponsors being Lloyds Banking Group, Bridgestone, UST Global, Carbon Green, and CSC.
Both drivers were forced to retire from their debut race at the 2010 Bahrain F1 Grand Prix. Nonetheless, the entire team has displayed a positive attitude noting that while they have some teething problems to overcome, the season is still young and there is plenty of opportunity to show that Virgin Racing has what it takes to compete in this demanding, and exciting, sport.
Lotus Racing made its F1 Championship debut at the 2010 Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, with drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli finishing in fifteenth and seventeenth place respectively. The CEO of Lotus Racing is Riad Asmat, with Mike Gascoyne as the technical director. The team’s drivers are Italian Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen of Finland, with Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy as test driver. The Lotus T127 chassis is powered by a Cosworth CA2010 engine, with Bridgestone supplying the tires.
While the name Lotus may be a familiar one to racing enthusiasts, Lotus Racing is not a resurrection of the original Team Lotus that was so prominent on the F1 scene between 1954 and 1994. It is a new team that is an initiative of the Malaysian Government to promote national unity, and is backed by a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs, including Proton (the owner of Lotus Cars and the connection to the original team), Tune Group, Sepang International Circuit, Naza Motors, the Automobile Association of Malaysia, and the Motorsports Association of Malaysia.
Lotus Racing was a late entry into the 2010 F1 Championships, and pulled out all the stops to have its cars on the grid for the first race of the season. Having successfully completed their debut event, the future looks promising for this new team, with a legendary name.
The Penske Racing team is owned and run by Roger Penske, and is an extremely diverse team. In previous years Penske Racing has taken part in CART, road racing and even Formula One, but presently they are concentrating on ARCA, the Indy Racing League, and last but not least, NASCAR.
Penske Racing’s involvement in Indy Car racing started in 1968 with a stock block-powered Eagle and a driver named Mark Donohue. In 1969 they competed for the first time at Indianapolis, and in the following three years they were the team that everyone kept their eye on. Donohue won the Indy 500 in 1972. Other team owners that were involved in USAC events, such as Indy Cars and Champ Cars, got together to form CART, which is the Champion Auto Racing Teams. The participating owners were Pat Patrick, Dan Gurney and of course, Roger Penske. By the time 2006 arrived, Penske Racing had many successes under their belt. Successes that included winning open wheel races in CART and IRL 124 times, winning the Indianapolis 500 an impressive 14 times, and winning 13 pole positions at the Indianapolis 500. Penske Racing also walked away ith 11 open wheel championships.
Due to an open wheel split following the CART season in 1995, the Penske Team was absent in the Indy 500 for five years. They announced their return in 2001. Which later led to Roger Penske leaving CART to race in the Indy Racing League. The open wheel racing division of the Penske Team has been located in Pennsylvania since the year 1973, but it was announced that following the 2006 IRL Season, that IRL and the team’s NASCAR operations will consolidate at the Penske facility in Mooresville, North Carolina. The operations had to be moved sooner than previously anticipated due to a flood in Pennsylvania in 2006.
This very successful team boasts 3 Sprint Cup Series cars, numbered 2, 12 and 77; as well as 2 Nationwide Series vehicles, numbered 12 and 22. Their IndyCar motor vehicles are numbered 3, 6 and 12; while the Grand-Am car is #12. Drivers for Penske Racing include Kurt Busch, Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe, Brad Keselowski, Justin Allgaier, San Hornish Jr., and others.
The sport of NASCAR racing is one of the most popular in the United States. Fans flock to the racetracks in their thousands to cheer on their favourite driver, team or car number. Though one of the appeals of NASCAR racing is its relatively easy accessibility, often the best way for aspiring drivers to drive truly remarkable vehicles is to join an existing team. Teams that are well established usually have access to the best cars and parts with which to enhance their vehicles and ensure top-performance rides. These teams also enjoy good sponsorship which then again helps to draw in enough money to keep vehicles in tip-top shape.
There are currently a fair number of different NASCAR racing teams which are recognised for having successful cars and drivers. Fans may recognise names such as Hendrick Motorsports, Roush Racing, Evernham Racing and Phoenix Racing. Often NASCAR teams are started by drivers who eventually use a portion of their winnings to purchase their own vehicles and start their own teams. On other occasions these teams may be started by wealthy supporters of the sport who wish to get more involved even though they may not be much good behind the wheel.
Teams such as Joe Gibbs Racing and Robert Yates Racing have helped a number of drivers to reach the pinnacle of success. Other teams have become largely family affairs, such as Dale Earnheart Racing and Petty Enterprises. Ownership of these teams may be passed down from one generation to the next – or it may be a prime position in the driver’s seat which the next generation may inherit. Whichever way you look at it, racing teams are needed for the sport of NASCAR racing to function properly. It makes organisation of NASCAR events that much more regulated and standardised and it makes it easier for new and aspiring drivers to climb their way up in the ranks and show their true worth. Team cars usually sport, not only the car’s number, but also the sponsorship which has enabled the team to continue racing at the top of it’s game. Fans soon learn which team they like the most – and which drivers they’d like to see in the winner’s circle. Have a look at our brief description of NASCAR racing teams to learn a little more about each one.
- Bill Davis Racing
- Chip Ganassi Racing
- Competitive Edge Motorsports
- Dale Earnhardt Racing
- Evernham Motorsports
- Haas CNC Racing
- Hendrick Motorsport
- Joe Gibbs Racing
- Morgan McClure Motorsports
- Penske Racing
- Petty Enterprises
- Phoenix Racing
- Richard Childress Racing
- Robert Yates Racing
- Roush Racing
- Robby Gordon Racing