Stefan Grand Prix’s unraced car

TF110 in Serbian Red

Is this the car that Stefan Grand Prix could have been racing in the 2010 Formula One World Championship?

Details have emerged from Racecar Engineering magazine of Toyota’s abandoned 2010 race car which was tested recently in the factory’s car park by Kazuki Nakajima.

Two chassis were build, one decked out in Serbian red which was intended to be used by Stefan GP, and the other in sleek black.

From the photos, it looks like this car was very advance, modelling the most a complex and highly sculptured diffuser and boasting a ride height adjustment device.

TF110

But perhaps such design, engineering and manufacturing mastery should be taken with a pinch of salt when remembering Toyota’s track record in the formula. However complex the front wing looks (and indeed it does!) with the Red Bull moulding of the nose cone, it certainly looks an incredible leap from their 2009 effort.

It’s uncertain if this car, or indeed a 2011 spec development of this car will ever take part in a competitive environment, or whether, like many projects before, this will be preserved as a museum piece.

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Stefan GP Championship – Monaco Grand Prix

Chandhok & Trulli (Sutton Images)

The first victory victory for Hispania Racing, only soured by Jarno Trulli’s antics of trying to decapitate the young Indian driver.

Meanwhile Virgin Racing are going from bad to worse with proprietor Richard Branson having to deny media reports that he is about to pull the plug on the fledgling team. Is he wishing he’d stuck with Brawn and now be teaming up with Mercedes at the sharp end of the grid?

Fastest lap this time around goes to Hekki Kovalainen who still leads the points haul.

Driver Standings

1st: Hekki Kovalainen 42pts

2nd=: Karun Chandhok 30pts

2nd=: Jarno Trulli 30pts

4rd: Lucas Di Grassi 23pts

5rd: Bruno Senna 21pts

6th: Timo Glock 16pts

Constructor Standings

1st: Lotus 71pts

2nd: Hispania Racing 51pts

3rd: Virgin Racing 39pts

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Stefan GP Championship – Spanish GP

Just a quick round up. Fastest lap was Jarno Trulli in 1.29.564

Drivers Table

1st: Hekki Kovalainen 37pts

2nd: Jarno Trulli 24pts

3rd: Lucas Di Grassi 21pts

4rd: Karun Chandhok 20pts

5rd: Bruno Senna 18pts

6th: Timo Glock 15pts

Constructor Standings

1st: Lotus 61pts

2nd: Hispania Racing 38pts

3rd: Virgin Racing 36pts

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Chinese Grand Prix Review

With the Formula One circus having slowly trickled their way back to Europe following the closure of the European airspace, we’re able here on the Stefan Grand Prix blog to look back and evaluate the third exciting race in a row after the turgid start in Bahrain.

As qualifying was held in perfect sunny conditions, it was no surprise to see all three new teams competing in the SGP Championship falling foul in Q1. This time around, it was Timo Glock in the Virgin-Cosworth who stole pole position from Jarno Trulli in the Lotus-Cosworth by 0.100 seconds. Meanwhile, Bruno Senna regained the upper hand over Karun Chandhok qualifying the Indian driver by 0.100 seconds.

Of interested as well was Bruno Senna’s Hispania Racing’s qualifying time compared to Lucas Di Grassi who qualified just ahead of the Brazilian. It would appear that the HRT’s are now only 0.7seconds off the Virgin & Lotus pace.

Race Report

Now, be honest, who would have thought after 4 races, you would have seen a Lotus racing in 6th place? Ok, dreaming it isn’t the same and thinking it would happen. Keeping his Finnish head cool while all others lost theirs and came in to change their tyres twice, Hekki Kovalainen eventually crept up to 6th for several laps until he was gobbled up by the recovering pack. After a tense battle with Nico Hulkenburg’s Williams, Hekki eventually finished 14th and on the top spot for the 3rd time this year of the Stefan Grand Prix Championship. He also picked up an extra point for the fastest lap of those competing for the Championship.

Meanwhile, for the second race running, the two remaining podium places here taken by the Hispania Racing Team’s Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok, although this time around, it was the Brazilian who led home his Indian team mate. After a week of negative headlines from it’s own employees, it must be heartening for the small Spanish team to again achieve such great milestones as the F1 paddock heads home to Europe.

Dr. Kolles said after the race “A good day for the team completing our second two-car finish in the rain in our fourth race. Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna drove their second wet race after Australia. Again we reached our goal with two cars finishing the race and we gathered quite a lot of data on this track that can be used for the European season. Congratulations to the team. Now in the three weeks to come, we must work on more developments for the team’s home Grand Prix in Barcelona.”

Retiring on lap 26 was Jarno Trulli, who had to retire with hydraulic failure…again. A common gremlin for all of the new teams. Jarno has said this week that he feels the team are only achieving 10% of their potential.

“I knew that it wouldn’t be easy, that everything would be new and we would need time,” he said. “I had expected at least to drive. Instead, after four races I did not start once and when I got to the finish, it was because it was decided I should take the chequered flag but in far from ideal conditions.

“We operate like a real team in the top series, but unfortunately we are only at 10% of our potential because of lack of time. There’s no testing, and the racing weekend is the only chance to test and oil the structure. For us this is our apprenticeship year.The thing Lotus has lacked is time, the main culprit for our difficulties. Had we had time to program everything more in advance, we would have better prepared the structure, the car, the gearbox, our hydraulics system and everything you need to start well. All this work is being done now, race after race.”

Coming in last again was the Virgin Racing Team, whose season is progressing from bad to worse with the news last week that the delay in getting back to Europe due to the complete shutdown of Northern European airspace has meant that only one Virgin Racing car will be ready in time for the Spanish Grand Prix with a bigger fuel tank. Currently, they have reasonable pace, but reliability is severely lacking.

Nick Wirth explained after the race what has happened during the Chinese Grand Prix. “Following the overnight Parc Ferme, we started the cars this morning and discovered that the clutch on Lucas’ car was not functioning correctly. We changed the clutch before the Race, but it still wasn’t working properly even when we eventually got Lucas out and into the Race and ultimately we had to retire him. Timo’s car lost engine valve system air pressure on the Grid, which required us to move him back to the garage. We attempted to refill the air system but it was clear that there was a substantial air leak from the system in a place which was difficult to access quickly, so we were also forced to retire his car. All in all, a very disappointing day, but I know that we will get to grips with the problems and bounce back in Barcelona.”

Driver Standings

1st: Hekki Kovalainen 36pts

2nd= Karun Chandhok 17pts

2nd= Lucas Di Grassi 17pts

4rd: Bruno Senna 16pts

5th: Jarno Trulli 13pts

6th: Timo Glock 9pts

Constructor Standings

1st: Lotus 49pts

2nd: Hispania Racing 33pts

3rd: Virgin Racing 26pts


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Stefan Grand Prix Press Conference

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Stefan GP confirm 2011 entry (plus new website!)

Zoran Stefanovic (right)

News earlier this evening confirmed that Stefan Grand Prix, led by Zoran Stefanovic, have lodged an official entry to the FIA for the team to compete in the 2011 Formula One Season as well as plans to build a technology centre and an F1 standard track.

As official anouncement read on their new website as follows;

“STEFAN GP would like to make a public announcement that the AMCO Corporation and its owner Zoran Stefanovic have today signed an agreement with the Mayor of Stara Pazova, located 25km from Belgrade , Serbia , to build the STEFAN TECHNOLOGY PARK . This will include a racing circuit suitable for the competition of Formula One, and a technical complex that will serve as STEFAN GRAND PRIX’s team headquarters upon completion in two years time.

“I think this is an excellent development for our team, Stara Pazova city, region and country,” Mr Stefanovic said today. “This is proof that we want to put ourselves on the map as a serious hi-tech company, and that we are serious about competing in Formula One for the long term.”

As well as this announcement, it would appear that the team have put a lot of effort to rebuke the critics of its simplistic websites. Us fans now have a plethora of extra sections, photos and announcements to keep us busy and entertained. Plus a new logo. (Darn..a redesign for me then!)

Who's missing...? (Bravo Mr. Stefanovic)

Also, a picture over the headline “Stefan GP Team”, there seems to been some good work from the Photoshop man in editing out Mike Coughlan. (Opinion: Good Move!)

So, after this rather exciting evening, I’ll leave you with the words of Mr. Stefanovic.

“A great man by the name of Sir Winston Churchill once said something that I try to implant into the minds of the people in my team. It’s something along the lines of: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP! In the last almost 12 months you were all witnesses of the fact that I strongly stand behind my beliefs.

I still believe that F1 would be a much more interesting competition with SGP, and my team and I feel like the battle is just starting. We want to be a part of F1 for both the long and short term future, and I hope that we will finally have the success we deserve.

This quality is shared by every person who has changed the world. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP! Thank you for supporting us, and I hope to see you at GP soon!

Best Regards, Zoran Stefanovic”

As ever…Go Stefan GP!

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Wikipedia – To be, or not to be…believed…

Well, never to be believed, without a reference aleast. So, once again, the hollow ring of wikipedia is tolling out across the internet highway with this rather bold statement.

“It is now confirmed that StefanGP did apply for an 2011 entry. Their plan is to have Canadian Jacques Villeneuve test the car for them during 2010 while it is reported that Villeneuve will races in other series for the remainder of the year.”

Oh dear oh dear oh dear. And the reference?? Well, for this part of the story, there isn’t one. It only goes back to the Autosport story regarding the separation between Stefan GP and Toyota.

So, who wrote this? Anyone out there know? Investigations are afoot. Any information anyone has, let us know!

In the meantime, lets hope that Stefan Grand Prix’s enterprise of great pitch has not turned awry and lost its name of action…

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