Highcroft teams up with GE
Reigning American Le Mans Series LMP1 champions Patr¢n Highcroft Racing has formed a unique technical and sponsorship partnership with GE for the 2010 season.
GE Capital has become one of the team's sponsors for 2010, while Highcroft Racing has also formed a technical partnership with GE Global Research, GE's technology development arm.
The teams will work closely together to develop additional new technologies to further enhance the performance of the Honda Performance Development, factory backed ARX-01c chassis.
Highcroft's engineering team will work in conjunction with GE Global Research engineers to identify new applications utilizing a variety of existing GE technologies. At the same time, GE scientists will have the opportunity to gain new insights that will benefit key research programs in aviation, transportation and energy.
GE Global Research is one of the world's largest and most diversified industrial research labs, with more than 2,600 scientists and engineers from around the world driving innovative technology in major industries such as energy, aviation, transportation, healthcare and lighting.
Technology expertise at Global Research covers virtually every scientific and engineering discipline. In particular, the Research Lab has core expertise in motor technologies, power electronics, drive systems and battery technologies that are broadly applied to support its aviation, transportation and energy businesses but which are also well aligned with advanced vehicle applications.
"The American Le Mans Series remains as one of the last international motorsports championships that truly reward innovation and allow technical development," Highcroft Racing President, Duncan Dayton said.
"Unlike many other championships, we compete against multiple different chassis, different tires and different fuel and engine technologies.
"We already have outstanding partners with HPD for engine technology and Wirth Research for chassis development. Our new partnership with GE will provide us with the tools to develop new enhancements to increase performance, and improve reliability and allow us to investigate new innovations to keep our team at the forefront of international motorsport competition.
"We're hoping these developments will not only enhance the performance of our team, but provide technological advances that we will one day see on the cars we drive on the road."
Eric Butterfield, Global Technology Leader, Electronics Systems and Controls, GE Global Research, said, "We're excited to join the Highcroft Racing 'Pit Crew' and see how we can apply advanced GE technology to improve the team's performance while gaining new insights to benefit our research for aviation, transportation and energy businesses. It’s an incredible technical proving ground. With the ALMS focus on "Green Racing" and eager adoption of advanced technology, this is an excellent technology development platform. You would be surprised what you can learn under the hood of a race car."
Highcroft's technical expertise has already been boosted in 2010 by the recruitment of Will Phillips as the team's new Engineering Director. Phillips will also work in conjunction with Technical Director Dave Luckett on helping David Brabham (pictured right) and new drivers Simon Pagenaud and Marino Franchitti retain the ALMS championship crown.
Lead Engineer Jordan Eber has been assigned to coordinate and liaise with the GE Global Research team.
The GE logo will now adorn the team's #1 chassis for the ALMS title defense. Patr¢n Highcroft Racing has returned to Sebring for one final test this week at the annual American Le Mans Series "Wheels Down" winter test yesterday and today (February 22 & 23).