Motorsport BMW Motorsport Team Pit Stop: Under The Microscope

In motor racing, the drivers are often seen as the stars of the show and it’s easy to see why. Each and every race, they push themselves and their cars to the limit to conquer the world’s toughest tracks, trying to beat their 21 rivals and clinch victory. 

Any top driver, though, will tell you that teamwork is everything in motor racing. Top-class drivers are truly remarkable specimens, but they would be nothing without a great team to back them.

“A lot of people think that motor racing is very individual, but if you don’t have a team behind you, you are nothing. It’s always 50% driver and 50% team. To win you definitely need to perform as a team.”

Castrol EDGE-backed BMW Motorsport driver Bruno Spengler

It takes an army of people to run a great racing team, from the designers and engineers back at the factory to the mechanics at the track. The car wouldn’t even make it out of the garage without a bunch of technical wizards on hand to fire up the engine.

That philosophy of teamwork extends to the oils and lubricants in the engine. Castrol EDGE works closely with teams to develop the perfect racing oil for their race engine. Castrol EDGE is often treated as a component of the engine that provides extra power, efficiency and reliability.

THE PIT STOP: THE ULTIMATE TEST OF TEAMWORK

While much of the teamwork during a race happens behind the scenes, the most direct influence the team has on the outcome of the race is in the pit stop. This is the ultimate test of trust between team and driver. “The team has to rely on me,” says Castrol EDGE-backed BMW Motorsport driver Augusto Farfus. “They have to be confident that I will stop on the right spot, and I have to be confident that if I park on the right spot they will do their job.”

The cars dive into the pitlane at 80km/h, and drivers try to stop them within a tiny 10cm bracket – about the length of a mobile phone. Miss it, and the whole team has to move, costing valuable seconds.

Once the car screeches to a halt, it is jacked up. Wheel guns are used to rapidly loosen the wheel nuts and the old tyres are quickly removed. New wheels with fresh tyres are thrown on and the wheel guns speedily secure them in place. Meanwhile, another member of the pit crew frantically fills the car with fuel so it can reach the end of the race. This entire process happens in less than five seconds.

With so much to do in such little time, it could be easy to make a mistake, so every member of the team needs to do their job perfectly. Five seconds for a pit stop doesn’t sound like a lot, but a slick pit stop can secure victory for the team, while a single mistake can cost them dearly.

HALF A SECOND CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE

In the last race of the 2012 season, Bruno Spengler won the race by less than 1  second! Given that races can be decided by such narrow margins, it comes as no surprise that the BMW team dedicates plenty of time to practice and perfect its pit stops.

It’s teamwork that makes a good racing team great and teamwork has long been at the heart of BMW Motorsport. After experiencing success in Formula 1, touring cars and endurance racing at Le Mans and Nürburgring 24-hours, the Castrol EDGE-backed BMW Motorsport Team is keen to demonstrate that it has the strength to perform in DTM, and teamwork will be key.

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Fri Apr 18 2014 11:35:06 UTC+0000 (UTC)