For most teams preparing two cars for each new season of racing would provide them with a few challenges. However, for Oliver Oakes and the team at Hitech GP multiply that tenfold, as the driver selection event in Almeria this week meant preparing 20 identical cars.
The process for Hitech began just two months ago, and it is testimony to the level of hard work and professionalism that last Saturday (23rd March) all the 28 W Series hopefuls were able to have their first taste of driving the Tatuus F-318 Formula 3 car.
For both W Series and Hitech, the importance of providing fair and identical equipment for all qualifiers is paramount. To ensure this, Oliver has put together a diverse team of 56 people to work on this project. Each driver has been allocated a race engineer and to ensure that these engineers can support W Series qualifiers from many different racing backgrounds, Oliver has recruited some of the best in the business.
Oliver Oakes, Hitech GP Team Owner:
“We arrived in Almeria with six trucks and 56 people, ready to set up the garages and shakedown the cars ahead of the first track session on Saturday.
The anticipation of the first run Saturday was high – some drivers had never driver a single-seater before – so there were a lot of unknowns. However, once all the drivers got comfortable and settled into their second or third runs, they all looked confident. By the end of day two there was a buzz in the engineering office, everyone comparing notes. Testing had well and truly begun.
“My task with finding the right race engineers was to make sure they work within Hitech’s DNA. The number one ethos is not about working for themselves but working for the team and all the drivers. Our job here is not just about finding performance, but to give all the drivers the same tools to do a good job. By tools, I mean a reliable car and competitive and an experienced race engineer to help their development.
“The task here is to find the final driver line-up from the 28 shortlisted qualifiers, so we want to give them all the right coaching and the right opportunity to really show what they can do – regardless of their experience or background. Everything is structured in the same way so they all use our software and all have access to the same videos, data and information.”