The acquisition of the BCN team currently competing in the GP2 series by a project driven by former F1 racer Tiago Monteiro, was finalized this week and from now on the team becomes the first 100% Portuguese team to compete at this level of Motoracing.
To conclude a project of this scale, the racing driver is joined by a business man who has vast experience in the motor sport industry, Jose Manuel Guedes who, for more than ten years together with Edmar Monteiro, has been responsible for the career management of Tiago Monteiro.
For Tiago, who has already contested many challenges behind the wheel, moving across to the other side of the garage to become a team principal is a new adventure indeed. "This is a step I have always wanted to make in my professional career but I would have never imagined taking it this early. We had the opportunity and we worked on the financial aspect of the project, then we started negotiations. The management of a race team is fascinating because not only do you need to have a good knowledge of what can happen on track but you also need to have some skills in the business. The GP2 Series is the ideal platform because it is very close to Formula 1. Its popularity and competitiveness is on the rise. After careful consideration we think this project could be a springboard that is perfectly adapted to our ambition of promoting Portuguese motorsport beyond its frontiers," Tiago said.
Ocean Racing Technology, an ocean of opportunities.
The team has been renamed Ocean Racing Technology. Tiago Monteiro and Jose Guedes have already started the construction of the team's inner framework with the objective of equipping it with experienced professionals who have already experienced success in international motorsport. The two partners of this project have not yet revealed the colours in which the team will race, only its logo and new name. The new structure will be in place in time for the next race of the GP2 Asia championship, scheduled to take place on the fifth and sixth of December 2008 in Dubai. Tiago Monteiro has confirmed that negotiations with several drivers are taking place and that the GP2 Asia championship will be a good place to test some of them, the upcoming races allowing for the best possible test and training ground to prepare the team for its new future.
"The team is under construction but our organization will soon be complete. We are gathering a group of professionals who have to have a bank of knowledge and quality because we are well aware the GP2 Series is one of the most competitive championships. We are hiring people we know, who have proved they're good at what they're doing in F1, GP2 or other international championships. The GP2 Asia series will be a warm up for the Main Series where we will operate with the full team. We have a lot of work ahead of us but the motivation is as big as this project is as we know it is a very important one. We know the identity of the drivers is something people would like to know. I can simply tell you that there is no obligation for them to be Portuguese even though it is a possibility. At this step of the team's construction, the most important thing is to make the right choices" Tiago concluded.
In the short term the team will also announce where the new team will be based. At the present time, several European localizations are being studied. Jose Manuel Guedes has confirmed that one site is the Technological Park of International Motor Racing in Algarve.
"We have carefully studied several sites and it is clear the International Autodrome of Algarve offers all the conditions to host a GP2 team and that it is a powerful tool perfectly adapted to its needs. But our structure is diverse and our people come from various countries and several other sites could be potential candidates. The finale decision will be made over the next few days" Jose Manuel Guedes promised.
Beyond the strong growth of the GP2 championships in the world of motorsport, the construction project of a team is also stimulating from the investors point of view. Jose Manuel Guedes has stressed that excellence will be required on all levels of the company, from the director to the technicians, and of course to the drivers. Success is built before placing the car on the track and basically depends on the work put in by every member of the team.
"GP2 has gained enormously in terms of acknowledgement and benefits with very good feedback that investors can compare to Formula 1. The fact that the championship is run in parallel with F1 allows the project to benefit from an extraordinary visibility which makes our responsibilities even bigger. It is a demanding championship but the costs are controlled and the level of performance is high and very well balanced between the teams. The championship proved its potential thanks to action packed races with TV coverage on the rise," concluded Jose Manuel Guedes.
Inaugurated in 2005, GP2 is already famous for its high level of professionalism and quality. It has already confirmed talents such as Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Timo Glock, Nelsinho Piquet and Heikki Kovalainen, who have all moved on to the Formula One championship.