JANUARY 12, 2007
Gascoyne turns up the boost
Mike Gascoyne is a man who likes to get things done and when he turns up at a new team things start to happen and the team moves forward. It happened when Gascoyne was at Jordan, Renault and Toyota. The methods he uses are interesting and do not always involve hiring a lot of new people, but rather empowering those who are already there and making sure that they understand where the emphasis must be laid. Gascoyne always ups the action in the aerodynamic departments and his arrival at Spyker (the latest iteration of the old Jordan) has seen a similar pattern with the announcement that the team will be building a second design later this year - a trick of overlapping design teams that Gascoyne has used several times before - to close the gap faster. Spyker has now also announced that it will be working with a second windtunnel as Gascoyne has done a deal with Aerolab, the subsidiary of Fondmetal, which is located not far from Ferrari's headquarters in Modena.
The facility was opened in 2004 and is larger and faster running that the original Fondmetal windtunnel in Casumaro, which is used by Renault F1. The Aerolab tunnel can accommodate 60% models and has the all-important ability to test cars at different yaw angles. This facility was originally used by Toyota F1 but that contract came to a close with Toyota building a second windtunnel in Cologne.
The relationship is not surprising given the links between Gascoyne and Fondmetal's boss Jean-Claude Migeot. The two men worked together on the revolutionary raised-nose Tyrrell 019 back in 1990 before being lured in different directions. In 1994 when Gascoyne went back to Tyrrell he instigated a development programme with the new Fondmetal Technologies, which has been set up the previous year by Migeot. At the end of 1995 Fondmetal did a deal with Benetton (now Renault) and it was not until Gascoyne moved to the team in 2001 that the relationship with Migeot was revived but when Gascoyne went to Toyota in 2003 they found themselves working together once more with the new Aerolab company.
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