Nurturing talent and delivering a race winning formula
Modern motorsport is a global industry as witnessed by the expansion of Formula One and Formula E championships. Below these ‘flagship’ series is a wealth of engineering and racing talent that feeds them with new ideas and drivers. One such team is Belgium-based M2 Competition whose success has been driven by races at the far end of the globe in New Zealand.
The origins of the team are in New Zealand when in 2010 Mark Pilcher and Jonathan Moury, who had worked together on the A1GP Team New Zealand created M2 Competition and their first race team. The intention was to become a racing team focussing on Junior Formulae and it began by competing in New Zealand’s Castrol Toyota Racing Series. Success came quickly and the team has won multiple championships both constructor and driver titles. Building on that success it looked at other championships and gained experience in DTM, Formula 2, GP3, Formula 3, Formula Renault, WRC, WEC, while continuing to compete in and win in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series. Throughout this success it has maintained one goal, that is to develop young talent and its roll call includes current Formula One drivers.
“Working with young drivers is very rewarding as you see them grow and progress not only within your team but later in their career as well. Seeing guys like Lando Norris and Lance Stroll in Formula One this year, Alex Lynn in the WEC or Ferdinand Habsburg in DTM is really enjoyable and we are happy to have been a small part of their journey,” says Jonathan Moury.
For all of its continuing success in New Zealand, where Mark Pilcher concentrates his efforts, the team remains relatively small, with 24 people in New Zealand and 11 in Europe forming the race teams, with a small number centred on the workshop. The location of that workshop may come as a surprise as all of the team’s engineering and car preparation is carried out in Lembeek, a small town on the outskirts of Brussels, Belgium. Even more surprising is that the facility is a former cattle shed that was being used to store fridges. Under the guidance of Jonathan Moury and his wife Elise, who as well as now being one of the co-owners of the business is also chief engineer for the team’s Formula Renault Eurocup Programme, this has been transformed.
“The workshop is located near our home and being close to Brussels offers good facilities and transport links for our staff. With the building being virtually a blank canvas, we decided to take the opportunity and transform the building to suit our specific requirements, with the help of System Store Solutions,” says Jonathan.
The requirement was to create a modern motorsport workshop facility including storage and race bays from what was a ‘gloomy cattle shed’. System Store Solutions turned to its Fami range of products to create the bespoke build, which included cabinets, cupboards, and stainless steel bin lids and splashbacks. One issue that came to light during their survey of the building was a slope of 251 mm across the length of the building, this was overcome by System Store Solutions through the manufacture of bespoke plinths for the cabinets that ensure everything remained neat and tidy. As with all thing s motorsport related, speed was also key to delivery of the workshop, from start to finish the entire project, from initial discussions through design to installation took just six weeks, including one day for the site survey and just four days for the installation.
“The slope on the floor was an aspect that never crossed our minds,” says Jonathan. “We completely overlooked it on our side, which is why it pays to have professionals involved, such as System Store Solutions. When they carried out their survey, they realised just how much of a slope it was and quickly came up with a solution to make it work for us, which was good. If we had tried to fit out the workshop ourselves details like the slope in the floor or, other things can have big consequences. The reassurance we got from System Store Solutions was that we knew that the workshop would be ready to use 100% upon completion. It also allowed our staff to focus on the cars, which at the end of the day is our business rather than on the workshop!”