News 19 Oct 2015

Form of BMW GT driver Sims boosts new european F3 team Hitech GP

The new Hitech GP team has moved firmly into the Formula 3 European Championship driver market after Alexander Sims narrowly missed out on a podium last weekend at Hockenheim.

Autosport understands that several leading drivers are being connected with the new Silverstone-based squad, which made just its second race appearance in the 2015 finale and plans to field a three-car team next season.

BMW GT factory driver Sims gave Hitech GP its competition debut in September’s round at the Algarve Circuit, and the team’s Dallara-Mercedes shot forward at Hockenheim, taking fifth and fourth in the two qualifying sessions, fifth in race one and fourth in race three.

“This circuit’s a bit more generic compared to Portimao [Algarve],” Sims said of Hockenheim.

“It’s quite flat, with no big undulations or cambers, so that the basic things we’ve learned from testing we can put to good use.

“From the gap to Felix Rosenqvist, you can see there’s still lots to improve, but it shows what you can do if you get the car fairly well balanced.

“This is still a fairly standard Dallara, and it’s fun to be a part of it [the team’s genesis] – it’s also nice to be in a position where we felt we should have got more out of it.”

Sims also finished fifth in race two, despite damaging the floor with an airborne moment on the kerbs and grass at Turn 1, but was excluded when the car failed the post-race airbox-vacuum test in post-race scrutineering.

The Mercedes engine would not pull a vacuum, and the cause was only discovered when a technician from Mercedes engine builder HWA studied the airbox and found that gravel thrown up by Alexander Albon’s crash had pierced the carbonfibre on its leading edge.

The car passed an identical test without problem after each qualifying session and the other two races.

Hitech GP is run by engineer David Hayle, who founded the separate Hitech Racing team in 2003.