Report: Caterham staff cuts occurring following ownership change

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Colin Kolles’ previous stints in Formula One with the team now known as Force India (Jordan, Midland, MF1 and Spyker prior) and HRT have been known for running lean operations. Now, with Caterham, history appears to once again be repeating itself.

A report from the BBC’s Andrew Benson confirmed the now Kolles-led, Leafield-based Caterham F1 Team has cut 40 members of its staff, including deputy technical director Jody Eggington and head of track operations Gerry Hughes, among others.

Hughes, interestingly, had returned to Formula One with Caterham after a two-year stint working as an engineer with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

Kolles and Christijan Albers are now the de facto heads of the team, even though the combination Swiss-Middle Eastern ownership group has not been named.

Kolles told Benson at Silverstone, “We will do the utmost and put a lot of investment into this to try to gain 10th in the championship. If we don’t, we will look at budgets and have to adapt to a different situation.”

To gain 10th, Caterham would need one of two things to happen the remainder of this season. It would either need to score its first ever World Championship point, or would need its second 11th-place finish of the year to break a tie with the equally scoreless Sauber squad.

Marcus Ericsson’s 11th at Monaco equaled the team’s best ever result, but it was a disappointing one given fellow newcomers Marussia scored two points with Jules Bianchi’s ninth place.

Ericsson’s teammate Kamui Kobayashi may be forced to step aside if the need for a heavily funded driver arises. On the reserve driver front, Dutchman Robin Frijns stays on board while American Alexander Rossi has confirmed his departure as of Wednesday morning.

Dodge to celebrate 50th anniversary of Hemi motor at NHRA U.S. Nationals

Photo courtesy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
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When this year’s NHRA U.S. Nationals plays out from August 29 through September 3 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, a lot of folks are going to be channeling one of the most famous lines in motorsports:

“Hey, that thing got a Hemi?”

Dodge and parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Thursday – on National Hemi Day, no less – announced that it will celebrate the Hemi’s 50th anniversary of Super Stock cars with the 18th annual Dodge Hemi Challenge during the U.S. Nationals.

Cars that will take part in the Challenge will be 1968 Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda cars – “The most iconic of the Mopar package cars,” touted a Dodge press release – in a head-to-head battle.

The Dart and Barracuda were purpose built for use solely on a drag strip. The 23 entrants in the Challenge will drive their personally owned versions of the ’68 ‘Cuda and Dart.

The winner of the Challenge – which will be held August 30-31 – will take home a $15,000 purse, while cash rewards will be available for all 16 drivers that qualify for final eliminations.

“The Dodge brand is proud to serve as title sponsor of the NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge, an event that spotlights the legacy and power of the 426 HEMI engine,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America.

Beahm added, “This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda Super Stock cars that debuted back in 1968 and are still competing today, which makes our support of this edition of the HEMI Challenge extra special.”

One special incentive for contestants is the 42.6-pound NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge trophy, created in the spirit of the 426 (cubic inch) HEMI engine.

Jimmy Daniels has won the Challenge the last two years and goes for a three-peat in this year’s race within a race. His father, Jim Daniels, won the race in 2010.

The Challenge’s all-time winningest driver is Charlie Westcott Jr. of Parma, Michigan, who captured the Challenge in six different years: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

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