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Williams has announced the appointment of two new directors to its board. Nick Rose joins Toto Wolff, Mike O’Driscoll and Eddie Charlton as the group’s fourth non-executive director, while Louise Evans has stepped up from her former position as head of finance to become finance director.

Derrick Walker is to run the new IndyCar team that driver Ed Carpenter has set up for the 2012 season. Ed Carpenter Racing will make use of Walker’s equipment and workshop, while Carpenter will concentrate

Coughlan, was originally taken on as chief engineer at the Grove-based concern.

John Wickham has left his post as team manager at the Renault Formula 1 team. It is understood that Wickham, who was formerly technical and operations manager for A1GP and also one of the founders of the Spirit F1 team in the early ’80s, now plans to take on a role in Sportscar racing.

Paul Seaby is the new team manager at Renault, following the departure of John Wickham (see above). Seaby has been at the team since 1992, when it was known as Benetton, originally signing up as number two mechanic.

Derrick Walker

on the driving. Although Walker has not run an IndyCar since 2008 he has a huge amount of experience in the category.

Sam Michael was able to join his new team, McLaren, for the final two races of the F1 season after his former team, Williams, gave him permission to start work early. Originally, Michael was to be on ‘gardening leave’ until March 2012 but, after discussions, the teams came to an agreement.

NASCAR team boss, Rick Hendrick, and his wife, Linda, were lucky to escape serious injury when their jet overshot the runway at Key West in Florida. Hendrick spent six days in hospital where he was treated for four broken ribs and a broken clavicle. The plane, which was co-owned by Hendrick and five-time Sprint Cup champ, Jimmie Johnson, was badly damaged in the accident.

Mike Coughlan has been promoted to technical director at Williams, taking on the position left vacant by the departure of Sam Michael earlier this year. Former McLaren man,

Charles Day, a crew member on the no 66 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR after he was found to have violated the substance abuse policy.

Julian Gill is now global CEO of the Eibach Group. Gill, who was formerly managing director at Eibach UK and then director of global sales for Eibach, has been with the company since 1988 and takes over the position from outgoing CEO, Wilfred Eibach, who will continue to have an involvement in the day-to-day running of the firm.

Former Renault sporting director, Steve Nielsen, has joined Lotus – soon to be known as Caterham – where

The future looks bright for young Xtrac engineer

The youngest member of Xtrac’s Formula 1 design engineering team, Adam James, has been highly commended as a Young Designer of the Year finalist at the British Engineering Excellence Awards. It’s not James’ first commendation. In 2009 he was part of the team from the University of Hertfordshire that secured the Formula Student award for its electric car, entered in the alternative

as a production engineer. ‘We’re delighted Adam has received this special commendation in this hotly contested category,’ commented Xtrac technical director, Adrian Moore. ‘Despite his relative youth, Adam is already highly experienced in key aspects of the design process, and gained a high level of manufacturing knowledge whilst undertaking his industrial placement at Xtrac.’ ‘In addition to his

Rising star: Adam James of Xtrac design engineering team

fuel category, designing the driveline, components of the detailed chassis structure and the battery storage solution. He was also the driver for the Endurance and Sprint events. There were a record number of

entries this year for the BEEA awards, which were held yesterday at the Shakespeare Globe in London, where the judges commented on James’ ‘notable design engineering accomplishments, including the development of a range of innovative technologies.’ James graduated in 2009 with a MEng

in motorsport automotive engineering from the University of Hertfordshire. He started as an undergraduate trainee at Xtrac in 2006 and was sponsored by the transmission technology specialist throughout his studies for his masters degree. His undergraduate training was

production know how helping the design process, James has gained considerable practical experience supporting race teams at the track,’ said Xtrac chief engineer, Martin Halley, who attended the awards ceremony. ‘This all-round experience has helped him create a new transmission lubrication oil pump for a Formula 1 gearbox. The design

brief required the pump to be small and light, meet stringent performance and durability requirements within significant cost constraints, be easy to maintain and also act as an integral structural part of the transmission. This was a tough challenge for a young design engineer, but he successfully delivered and the pump has since been used by three Formula 1 teams. ‘Adam is an excellent ambassador for

the company, with great interpersonal skills,’ concludes Xtrac’s managing director, Peter Digby. ‘He is already taking on additional leadership responsibilities and currently mentoring another Xtrac engineering graduate. We currently support eight apprentice students, two graduates and eight undergraduates in our award-winning training programmes.’

Steve Nielsen

he will fill the same role. He replaces Dieter Gass in the position. Nielsen was at Renault for over 10 years, joining when the team was still known as Benetton.

Christopher Tate has been appointed managing director at Donington Park Racing, where he

84 • January 2012

2011 Rolex 24 at Daytona attracts largest audience in Grand Am’s history

The Grand-Am series in the USA has closed its most successful season ever with increased attendance by fans, wider broadcast coverage, closer racing and larger grids. The championship was broadcast on Speed TV and averaged 305,000 viewers in 245,000 households for each event – a 12 per cent increase over 2010. More crucially,

the vital 18-24-year old audience increased over 40 per cent during the course of last year. The Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge also showed substantial audience increases, with the Birmingham, Alabama event attracting the largest audience of the season with 380,000 viewers tuning in.



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