Here are the first pictures of Borland Racing Developments’ brand-new Spectrum 012 – the car the Australian constructor hopes will win both the Australian and British Formula Ford Championships.
The all-new car features revised bodywork, suspension updates and improved driver comfort – amongst a host of other changes.
To coincide with the launch of the new chassis, the Australian manufacturer has also updated its Spectrum logo.
While the Spectrum retains its traditional pointed nose, the big changes to the outfit has come on the administration side of the business. Having lost the CAMS Rising Star program for the year to Minda Motorsport, BRD is wholly responsible for its own team again, and with that in mind, it has a major incentive to win –starting this weekend in the first round of the Australian Formula Ford Championship at Albert Park.
Experienced racer Ash Walsh will lead the team, partnered by rookies Ben Jurczak and Caleb Rayner, with the latter starting the season in the older-model Spectrum 011.
In total, five new Spectrums have been built, with two to be campaigned by BRD, two for Synergy Motorsport and the fifth to go to the United Kingdom to race in the British Formula Ford Championship for local driver Daniel Cammish.
Speedcafe.com.au spoke to Mike Borland, constructor of the all-Australian designed and constructed Spectum chassis. He says that the Spectrum 012 is the best car he’s ever built …
SPEEDCAFE: What are the significant changes from the last of the 011s to the 012?
MIKE BORLAND: The key areas we focused on with the 012 were to lower the centre of gravity, reduce the polar moment, improve the driver’s seating position for comfort and safety, reduce the mass on rotating parts, and revise the bodywork for better aero performance and improved driver safety and vision.
SPEEDCAFE: How different was the design process to this car compared to previous Spectrums?
MB: We utilised data collected from wind tunnel and chassis rig testing in the UK and matched that to real world testing here in Australia. The amount of testing is probably the main difference from previous models.
SPEEDCAFE: Personally, is this the best Formula Ford you’ve ever designed?
MB: Obviously you are always trying to improve with each new model, so I definitely believe this is the best car I’ve built.
You usually have something specific you are looking to improve on, but with the 012 we’ve also focused on the areas where we knew we already had an advantage to see if we could exploit that even more.
SPEEDCAFE: How many 012s do you plan to construct in 2010?
MB: As many as we can! At this stage, we have six cars under construction and still have a few very strong leads.
SPEEDCAFE: Can the new Spectrum 012 win on debut?
MB: I believe that it can, both in Australia and the UK. The performance of Daniel Erickson and Daniel Cammish (UK), Chaz Mostert and Ash Walsh last year proved the 011d is a race winner and we know the 012 is better again. With three of those drivers running again in 2010, it just comes down to the team and the driver putting it all together on the weekend.
SPEEDCAFE: Ash Walsh returns to your team this year. He’s easily the most experienced driver in the field and should be considered the title favourite. What are your expectations of him?
MB: Ash is experienced, but he is one of the few drivers who will not have raced at the GP in 2009. We’ve already discussed this with him and let him know there is no expectation from us for him to blitz the opening round – we expect he will be competitive.
In 2007, Ash had some specific areas of his performance to work on and for this year, we have a program in place to address those areas. Ash has already developed new skills which make him a more complete driver and will build on that platform over the season.
SPEEDCAFE: You aren’t running the CAMS Rising Stars program this year. How has that changed the way the team runs this year?
MB: We’re back to recruiting the team’s drivers and structuring the program the way we would run it. With less time spent in administration reporting to a Board, we have time and resources to allocate to developing the cars, the team and the drivers.