OCTOBER 14, 2004
Who is Trevor Carlin?
Trevor Carlin has confirmed that he will be heading the recently-announced Midland F1 team in 2006, although speculation has been rife for several weeks.
Carlin is one of the stars of the British motor racing industry outside Formula 1. He started his racing career working for Vic Hollman's Pro Racing Services in St Albans in Hertfordshire. Hollman, who had been an engineer with the Hawke company, set up PRS in 1979 and hired Argentine engineer Sergio Rinland to be his chief designer. The firm enjoyed some success in the early 1980s notably in Germany where Stefan Bellof won the ONS Formula Ford Championship in 1980. After PRS closed down Carlin and Steve Hollman, Vic's brother, both went to work for rival Ralt and then in the late 1980s Steve and Carlin joined forces to build the Bowman Racing Formula 3 team, which took David Brabham to the British Formula 3 title in 1989.
Bowman went on to build its own Formula 3 cars and continued building racing machinery into the late 1990s. When Bowman Racing itself closed down Carlin moved to Dick Bennetts's West Surrey Racing, overseeing the F3 programmes of Marc Gene, Christiano de Matta and Pedro de la Rosa.
In 1996 Carlin joined forces with Martin Stone, who had been running an organization called AMT Autosport, to oversee a series of pit stop challenges for the Williams-Renault F1 team at venues across Europe. Once the team was established it was decided that it would enter cars in the British Formula 3 Championship and Carlin began to recruit experienced F3 engineers with whom he had worked in previous years. He took on a number of ex-F1 mechanics and by 1998 the team was becoming a frontrunner in the British series with India's Narain Karthikeyan.
In January 1999 Carlin recruited his former boss Steve Hollman to oversee the commercial side of the team. Carlin has been expanding ever since. That Spring Karthikeyan gave the team its first victory and in 2000 Karthekiyan, Takuma Sato and Ben Collins raced for the team, with Collins winning at Donington and Sato coming on strong with four wins.
In 2001 Sato was joined by Anthony Davidson and the two won 18 of the 26 races to finish 1-2 in the British series. In 2002 James Courtney seemed to be on his way to the British title but a midseason testing crash in a Formula 1 Jaguar knocked him off balance and he finished second to Robbie Kerr while team mates Michael Keohane, Alan Van der Merwe and Shinya Hosokawa all won races for Carlin.
The 2003 resulted in a second title with Van der Merwe winning 10 of the 24 races and his team mate Jamie Green picking up another three to confirm Carlin's position as the top Formula 3 team of the current era. Last year Carlin drivers finished in four of the top six positions in the British F3 Championship with Van der Merwe 1-2, Richard Antinucci fourth and Ronnie Bremer sixth.
The team has also won the international events at Macau and Zandvoort and the Korean Superprix. In 2001 the team entered a car in the Porsche Supercup series and became the first British team to win a round of the championship when Sascha Maassen took victory in Indianapolis. Last year the team expanded to run a team in the Nissan World Series for Karthikeyan and France's Bruce Jouanny.
This year Carlin is running three separate teams with five cars in the British Formula BMW series for Portugal's Duarte Felix da Costa and Joao Urbano, Denmark's Christian Bakkerud, Brazil's Bruno Senna and Britain's Sam Bird. In Formula 3 the team is running Portugal's Alvaro Parente, Brazilian Danilo Dirani and Monaco driver Clivio Piccione while there is also a car in the Nissan World Series for another Portuguese rising star Tiago Monteiro.
While there continue to be rumours that Alex Shnaider, the man behind Midland is in talks to buy Jaguar Racing and Cosworth, Carlin is looking ahead to running the F1 team.
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