As part of a busy day yesterday that included the revelation of its 2014 driver pairing and its owner, Tony Fernandes, threatening to leave Formula One if he doesn’t start seeing better results on the track, Caterham also revealed the move of their wind tunnel program to the Toyota Motorsports facility in Cologne, Germany.
“The [Toyota] facility allows us to run at 60 percent scale, more than the 50 percent scale we have been using to date, and that has obvious benefits in increasing the accuracy of the data generated in the tunnel,” team principal Cyril Abiteboul said during yesterday’s “media day” at Caterham’s headquarters in Leafield, England.
After finishing last in the 2013 constructor’s championship, Caterham can use any sort of advantage it can get as it tries not only to beat fellow backmarker Marussia but to finally score World Championship points in its fifth season of competition.
Toyota’s Cologne facility actually has two wind tunnels that each boast a steel belt rolling road capable of reaching speeds of 70 meters per second. The facility was the heart of Toyota’s former Formula One team, which competed from 2002 to 2009, and currently serves as the base of its World Endurance Championship team, Toyota Hybrid Racing.
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.