Fry: Manor F1 growing in a ‘sensible, controlled way’

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Manor Racing engineering consultant Pat Fry believes that the Formula 1 team is growing in a “sensible, controlled way” as it continues to move up the grid.

After narrowly avoiding liquidation at the end of 2014, Manor has gone from strength-to-strength under new owner Stephen Fitzpatrick, securing a power unit supply from Mercedes and scoring just the second top-10 finish in its history in Austria last month.

Ex-Ferrari and McLaren man Fry joined Manor as part of its drive to strengthen its management, which included the arrival of former McLaren team manager Dave Ryan and Renault chief operating officer Thomas Mayer.

Speaking over the German Grand Prix weekend, Fry explained how Manor is taking small yet significant steps in its bid to move up the grid.

“It’s quite a large charge from surviving through to competing and that affects the whole organization, all the way from what we are doing at the factory, from the wind tunnel to the design office, all the reliability side of things, all the way through to the track really,” Fry explained.

“It has knock-on necessities where we need to improve absolutely everywhere through the organization.

“There’s a plan for us to grow in a sensible, controlled way but we need to address all those areas, everything from pit stop speed, which we were – to put it a polite way – it was challenging at the beginning of the year, with the same guys and modifying everything. It’s all the detail work that you need to do and it just takes time.

“The same thing with putting the processes in place so that you can keep a reliable car reliable. There’s a huge task but everyone’s interested.

“We’re still quite small at the moment. We’re growing quite quickly but we’re still only 170 people or something of that order and our next competitor is the thick end of 500 people.

“There’s a lot to do and we just have to have a sensible plan to grow the organisation to compete sensibly.”

Manor currently sits 10th in the F1 constructors’ championship ahead of Sauber, its point in Austria coming courtesy of Pascal Wehrlein.

Wehrlein could be set to receive a new teammate for the remainder of the season as Rio Haryanto’s management continues to seek further funding to keep him in a seat.

Should Haryanto be unable to continue with Manor from the Belgian Grand Prix, Mercedes youngster Esteban Ocon is expected to take the seat for the remainder of the season.

Indianapolis 500 winner and Manor reserve driver Alexander Rossi revealed in an interview with Autosport that he was offered the seat for the rest of the year, but turned it down so he could focus on his IndyCar commitments with Andretti/Bryan Herta Autosport.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.