Spyker target mid-2008 for major step
|By Matt Beer||Tuesday, October 16th 2007, 11:49 GMT|
Spyker's chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne says the team expect to make a significant step forward in competitiveness by the middle of the 2008 season.
After spending most of 2007 at the back of the grid, Spyker have begun to make progress in recent races since introducing their B-spec car. Adrian Sutil ran competitively on the edge of the top ten in the Belgian Grand Prix, and then scored his and the team's first point in Japan.
The team are also under new ownership, with Indian entrepreneur Vijay Mallya joining forces with existing co-owner Michiel Mol for a buy-out that will increase Spyker's financial resources.
"It has obviously been a very difficult season," Gascoyne said.
"We've been compromised on development of new parts by financial circumstances, some of the development such as the wind tunnel has taken much longer than we expected to get up and running, but we have ended the season a high, with the B-spec car scoring its first point and new owners who are very committed to moving the team forward.
"I think we have made a good step forward with the B-spec. We knew it was never going to be enough to take us to the top, but we now have a lot more resources to put into development, particularly into aerodynamics.
"We have shown very clearly that we know what we are doing and when we put parts on the car, they improve performance as expected.
"Over the winter we can now get our heads down and get on with this development and by the middle of next year, I think we can expect to be truly competitive."
Team principal Colin Kolles said he was satisfied with what the team had achieved in difficult circumstances this year, and shared Gascoyne's optimism for the future.
"If you look at the year as a whole, it has not been easy," he said. "We have had many challenges and tests, but I think we can be proud of how far we have come and what we have achieved.
"We said this would be a year to stabilise the team, set new standards and procedures and really put down the foundations to let the team move forward over the coming seasons. I think we have achieved all of these aims.
"The technical team is now working very well together and we are seeing the rewards of the investments in the B-spec. I hope next year with increased resources we will be able to really challenge.
"I think we can look forward to a new stability that will help the team find its former glory again."