Today saw the first run of 2015 for the Liverpool team. The car used, dubbed the RJM-002.5, was driven in a shakedown run at Oulton Park. The car was driven by Adrien Simon during the test, and the car was sporting both interim aero parts and interim livery. Following the shakedown, which also encompassed a test day for the Vauxhall Motors touring car team, Liverpool gave the following press release:
'Today we completed the first running of the 2015 season, with a very early concept of the 2015 rules. This car is currently running a very simple aerodynamic package that will be heavily revised before the launch of the RJM-003, and today was all about finding a baseline for the new Vauxhall VXR-tuned Downton engine. We've worked hard with VXR to make it a very powerful engine in low range torque, as we have two very precise drivers in Adrien and Karl who know how to modulate the throttle very well. We are excited for the launch of the final development of the RJM-003, but until then we have arranged a session using this test car at Paul Ricard to get more data regarding the power unit and also the characteristics of the new regulations. And of course, our livery will be a bit more exciting than this one!'
After the test, Adrien Simon was full of praise for the new rules: 'These cars are so much fun, even at this early stage. The new engine is very powerful, with a lot of torque. We think it will be interesting to see where we are against the others, but until then, I'm confident. The car has much downforce, and it is so easy to pull the car around the track. And of course it is amazing to drive Oulton Park again, something which I have not done since my races in Formula Three.'
As previously expected, Meteor have revealed an updated livery of their upcoming competitor. The eagle eyed fans will notice, aside from a slightly altered design, the addition of two new sponsors, Walmart and Gillette.
At a dazzling event, with the world's media and sports personalities present, Westwood Racing unveiled their challenger for 2015. Team principal Harry Westwood made a speech before the covers were pulled back on their new machine.
"First of all, I'd like to say thankyou to every single member of the team who've been working so hard over the winter to get a solid car together for this season. We left our development for this car very late last season, but I feel that the engineers and designers at home have definitely managed to do an incredible job in the time they were given. I'd also like to say that, as we go forward as a team into this season with a whole new set of regulations, I have complete, unwavering confidence in my team to do the best they can. But enough from me. Let's let the car do the talking. Ladies and Gentlemen, our challenger for 2015, the WR03!"
Westwood had a few things to say on the new look in an interview following the unveiling:
"As you can see, we have yet again reinvented ourselves. Due to losing some sponsors from last season and some wanting a less involved role, we had to look elsewhere. When DHL heard we were looking for a new main sponsor, they were very eager to speak to us, and we were happy to speak to such a highly regarded sponsor. Along with a few new sponsors too, we knew red wasn't going to work for us this season. However, I'm happy to say that this is the happiest I've ever been with a livery to date, and I can't wait to see it out on track."
So with that, half of the field have unveiled their cars for 2015. We look forward to seeing you at the next one!
New team Ocelot Japan Racing have revealed their challenger for 2015 season which will also be their debut in the series, the team revealed the car to the press at a packed conference while Kansas's classic rock song "Carry On My Wayward Son" played in the background creating a fantastic atmosphere.
Team principle Rai Miyamoto confirmed that the team would indeed follow in the footsteps of engine supplier Downton by running American brand Firestone as their chosen tyre choice for the season. He also went on to say "I am proud to be able to final unleash the Ocelot to the world and now that we have done so our goal will be to pick up the most points possible in the 2015 season.
It was also confirmed at the event that Ocelot had managed to strike a deal with Time Warner thus leading to particular brands appearing on the car such as TV network "The CW." Another two major sponsor's which the team have secured were video game giants Sony and Nintendo.
Warrior's designers have confirmed the pictures released yesterday are photoshops, and that some elements on the livery are not there. They gave a statement a short time ago.
"The hackers probably decided to toil with the photos taken. Whether they decide to post the official photos, we have no control of."
There are strong rumours floating around the paddock that Westwood may have had to make a lot of changes for the upcoming season. Reports suggest that many of the Southampton based team's sponsors are unhappy with the way Westwood have handled their finance situation. This comes after the lowly team managed to secure the services of Will Hoskins, sadly with a hefty price tag.
When questioned on the matter, team owner and principal Harry Westwood had this to say:
"I don't know how this got out to be honest but I guess that's the nature of the sport nowadays. It is true that there has been some unrest, and I can confirm that several of our previous sponsors have backed out. However, we have encountered issues similar to this previously, and still bounced back. We're not doing nearly as badly as some rumours may suggest, and our preparations for next season are continuing as they should."
This would mean a big season of change for Westwood, with new sponsors, a new (race winning) driver in one of their cars, a new car itself with new regulations, a new engine and of course new tyres. When asked about the changes coming up, Westwood responded:
"Yes it's essentially a big revamp. But I have every confidence in both Will and Tumo, as I feel both have proven themselves worthy, talented drivers. They're both super quick and consistent, and their feedback is excellent. As for the tyres, I can confirm to you now that we will be running Firestones for the coming season, as after speaking to representatives from both Michelin and Firestone, we felt the latter would be superior in performance. And finally, onto the engines.Yes, moving from V8s to V10s is a big step up but we've been developing this engine for a while now, and we feel confident in our power unit. Last season the engine had a lot of grunt and was pretty driveable, but we really let the guys down on reliability. However we've worked hard to iron out such flaws for the upcoming season. And on which note, I'd like to point out that Westwood are happy to supply any teams, should they wish to use our engines."
So Westwood certainly have an uphill struggle ahead of them, but whether they'll overcome this remains to be seen. Reportedly their car isn't close to finished yet, and they'll be revealing their car at the pre-season tests, so the pressure is on the minnows from the south coast of England.