P1 hit by devastating factory fire
|By Simon Strang||Friday, August 28th 2009, 10:57 GMT|
P1 Motorsport faces a race against time to prepare two cars for the penultimate round of the World Series by Renault at the Nurburgring on September 19/20, following a devastating factory fire that destroyed virtually all of the team's assets.
The Norfolk-based squad's headquarters were part of an entire block of units which caught fire overnight in the Oaktree Business Park in Shropham.
"The whole thing has gone," team owner Roly Vincini told AUTOSPORT. "The whole lot has gone down. Apparently there was a fire in the factory next door, and the entire unit has been burned down.
"It was so hot that 20-inch steel girders on the roof have been melted down to stubs! Everything has been destroyed - the cars are no longer existent."
Vincini has vowed to try and get his team back up and running in time for James Walker – who lies second in the championship behind Bertrand Baguette – to continue fighting for the title.
"We want to act fast," said Vincini. "We are going to try and get out for the next races. Renault have told me they have got cars available. We've got to go and get them and then prepare them.
"But then we have also got to source all the stuff, the tools, and everything to make it happen."
Vincini revealed he had already received plenty of offers for help from rival teams such as Comtec and Mofaz Fortec Motorsport: "We have loads of people offering to help this morning, everyone has been brilliant. But I want us to do it ourselves, you know, we have to get ourselves back together and get on with it.
"So long as no one closes us down, we are going to try our best to carry on and we intend to be on the grid for the next race. We have got a couple of weeks to do it."
Vincini added that the extent of the fire damage was such that even half of the team's transporter was ruined.
"Half the truck has melted too!" he said. "But at the moment, we can't get in it to see what is salvageable because it was locked and the keys are somewhere in the ruins of the factory!
"It's almost funny how ridiculous the situation is, but then when you start working through the police reports, fire investigations and begin the recovery, you realise what a nightmare it all is."