Caterham F1 sale officially confirmed


Following a couple weeks of speculation, the sale of the Caterham F1 Team has been confirmed on Wednesday. The team’s base in Leafield and name of Caterham F1 Team will stay for what the team termed “the foreseeable future.”

Colin Kolles is back in the game and will head up the group of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors, taking over from Tony Fernandes and his partners at the top of the organization. According to veteran F1 scribe Adam Cooper, Kolles will be a Caterham consultant.

Kolles’ F1 history includes stints with the team now known as Force India, previously known as Jordan, Midland, MF1 and Spyker. He also was involved with the HRT team during its stint.

Additionally, former Minardi Formula One driver Christijan Albers and Manfredi Ravetto will take over day-to-day operations of the race team.

Said Albers in a statement, “We are aware of the huge challenge ahead of us given the fight at the bottom end of the Championship and our target now is to aim for tenth place in the 2014 Championship. We are very committed to the future of the team and we will ensure that the team has the necessary resources to develop and grow and achieve everything it is capable of.”

Albers and Kolles have been linked for several years both in F1 and in sports car racing. Albers drove for Spyker in 2007, when Kolles was the team principal. Once Kolles moved to Le Mans, the Dutchman raced an Audi R10 TDI in Le Mans.

Albers is also set to drive the Lotus P1/01 AER in the FIA World Endurance Championship for several races later this year (the Lotus is not affiliated with Caterham, because the Caterham/Lotus/Lotus history is already confusing enough as it is). Kolles had been involved in a Lotus LMP2 project last year.

Meanwhile, Cyril Abiteboul has left the team to pursue other opportunities.

No mention was made of changing the team’s driver lineup, with Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson competing this year and a deep pipeline of test drivers that include Alexander Rossi, Rio Haryanto and Will Stevens, with the latter two scheduled to test in Silverstone next week.

IndyCar: Schmidt Peterson Motorsports expands mentoring program for tech school students

Photos: Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
Leave a comment

IndyCar team Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced today that it is extending and widening a unique sponsorship and mentoring program that began last season with students from Lincoln Technical Institute.

The program began last year, with students from several Lincoln Tech branches attending select IndyCar events for an entire weekend.

The students, primarily from auto and diesel training programs, got an insiders experience with the team, taking part in team meetings, watching team workers prepare and service the No. 5 Arrow Electronics Honda of driver James Hinchcliffe, sat on pit boxes during practices, qualifying and, of course races.

The overall experience was to get students more interested and involved in potential careers in the IndyCar field.

“We said at the beginning of last season that we knew our students would benefit and learn from the professionalism and drive of the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team,” Lincoln Tech President and CEO Scott Shaw said. “But the experience they received working with the entire pit crew team and in particular crew member Cole Jagger – a Lincoln Tech graduate himself – went beyond even our own expectations.

“We were grateful for the time they spent mentoring our students, and we are thrilled to once again be part of the racing legacy of team owners Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson.”

Lincoln Tech will once again serve as an associate sponsor on Hinchcliffe’s car for the entire 2018 IndyCar season. In addition, it is expanding its Mentor Program to select students to attend a minimum of nine IndyCar races from six last season.

Students are selected based upon their grade point average, attendance, conduct and overall commitment to becoming outstanding automotive technicians. An interest in IndyCar and a desire to work in the industry is also considered.

One student that took part last season, Tyler Crist of Lincoln Tech’s Denver campus, joined the team at the IndyCar race in Long Beach last April, watching as Hinchcliffe won the event.

“It was the best weekend of my life,” Crist said after the event. “It reminded me of why I joined this field in the first place and to never give up on my dreams.”

Jagger will oversee the expanded mentoring program this season. For Jagger, being involved especially hits home, as he is a graduate of Lincoln Tech’s Indianapolis campus.

“I totally enjoyed working with the Lincoln Tech students that participated in the Mentor Program last year and look forward to meeting this year’s group,” Jagger said. “Being a Lincoln Tech grad, I hope the students realize that if you have a passion for cars, a career in racing is something that’s not out of reach. If I can be an example for them to follow, that makes it even more rewarding.”

In addition to the at-track activities of the mentoring program, several Lincoln Tech branches across the country will utilize CNC computerized machining and manufacturing tools to assist in creating car parts for SPM.

“Through this unique partnership, we’re able to hopefully find the next class of talent that could one day be part of our organization,” SPM president Jon Flack said. “We’re looking forward to another year of the mentorship program and having their students be ‘boots on the ground’ gaining real-life experience with our team.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski