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BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX
Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace. 23 October 2018
November 13, 2016

 

Joshua Anderson takes a look back at his team's 2016 outings and looks forward to the 2017 GPVWC season.

2016, by my own admission, has been a bit of a year of "what could have been" for Cosmo Autosport.

A Masters Series season that didn't go to plan, a World Sports Series season that followed suit - leading to the first ever instance of us withdrawing from a GPVWC series - and several driver changes in most of our efforts this season. Luck may not have been with us in 2016, but we've done our best to make our own luck from the cards we've been dealt.

And in the end, I can't really say we've done that bad a job.

We've achieved our first ever double podium in a series and with it gained our best ever Teams' championship result in 4th, in the Atlantic Series. We've made our World GT debut with a top-10 position.

We've remained in the top 10 teams in Formula Challenge despite a complete driver lineup change at mid-season, and taken 20 top-10 finishes, including 2 second places.

And most importantly, we've consolidated our reputation as a solid, reliable team even further. We have featured in 5 different series in 2016 and while, in hindsight, this may have been a few too many, we believe that we are more than capable of fielding solid lineups in our competitions.

Formula Challenge is a prime example of this - while both of our initial drivers, Patrick Wannemuller and Philipp Konig, elected to step down from their roles in the mid-season, we were able to source two emerging talents in Tomeu Cabrer and Roy Verzijl. Tomeu and Roy would both show their talents throughout the remainder of the season, and in Roy's case take 2 second place finishes.

Patrick and Philipp's achievements are not to be disregarded at all however. Both showed fantastic consistency and pace, and both have proven exactly why they are race winners here at GPWVC.

I believe Formula Challenge has actually been one of our most successful series this year - not because of our finishing position but rather because once again, we have shown that GPVWC is full of new, emerging talent, and it's through giving that talent a chance to shine that the superstars of tomorrow can be found.

Tomeu Cabrer was not a well-known name when he first drove for us in the 2014 ITC season. By 2016, he'd already had his Formula Challenge bow and scored a 5th place in the series. By the end of 2016, he'd joined Cosmo full-time and is making serious inroads to becoming a consistent points scorer and top-5 challenger.

Roy Verzijl's experience stretches back to 2014 within GPVWC and he is no stranger to Formula Challenge. 2016 was his first year in rFactor 2 and it was by giving him a chance in this new simulator that the Dutchman's true potential is beginning to show himself. A fresh start in a new simulator has yielded 2 second places and a renewed drive to push onwards for race wins.

Even in the Independent series, we have seen success that goes beyond what we have achieved before. The 2016 Atlantic Series season has given us our highest standing in a Teams' Championship to date, in 4th place.

The team of Nicolas Hillebrand, Alexander van der Woude and Domian Trappe was one I knew would work; all three very good friends, like Wannemuller and Konig in Formula Challenge, and great at working together. I believe drivers must be able to get along with each other before results can come, and to get along with one another, they must enjoy racing. In the case of the Atlantic Series team, this was the case, and it showed when Alex and Nicolas took our first ever double podium in a GPVWC event at the Grand Prix of the Carolinas, Nicolas winning the race from Alexander in 3rd.

And yet neither of these two were present at the first race. Adaptabilty is a key attribute of the team; while I as a person do not like change, I feel as a manager I am able to deal with it reasonably well. The signings of David Jundt and James Wilson for the first round at Sebring were an example of this; Wilson taking a podium finish on Cosmo's Atlantic Series debut.

While World GT was not our best series, it shows how drivers who share a common love for simracing can gel and work together brilliantly. The team of Thomas Hinss and Bart de Vos was one that had worked together before, but in World GT they showed how well they go together. Consistent points for both drivers, including a 5th for Hinss at Brazil, shows how a friendly atmosphere and teammates who work together and enjoy racing can push each other to achieve their true potential.

The 2016 Masters Series was one where we appeared to look away from this philosophy in exchange for a lineup of proven capablity. Matt Richards and Andrew Waring did no wrong as a team and they worked well together; but luck was not on their side and ultimately their potential did not truly come through. Matt had shown how dominant he can be while driving for us in the International Touring Cup in 2015; and Andrew made his bow for us in the same series, partnering Richards at his home event in Canada.

I was quietly confident that things would go well; and when they did not it made me wonder why. It also influenced my decision to pull the team from the World Sports Series when I realised things were not going to plan; along with the team's situation in 2015 and not wanting to repeat the past.

And yet despite the bad, good has come from 2016. As a team manager, I am confident in my ability to field cars to events in GPVWC. I know if I field lineups that I see potential in and that have the ability to work together, results will come. Roy and Tomeu, Patrick and Philipp, Thomas and Bart, Nicolas and Alexander. All of these are examples of this.

Looking towards 2017, I feel we can only rise from here on in. 2017 will be a key year in the future of the team - it is a year where we hope to progress in the Career Ladder in some capacity. Despite our only scoring 10th place in the Teams' Championship, our reliability as a team in the Career Ladder and desire to improve means we would seek to promote to Supercup, or perhaps Superleague if the chance arose.

We hope to make a return to the International Touring Cup, a series which we took a year out from in 2016. Returns to the Atlantic Series and Masters Series are also being considered.

Whatever we compete in throughout 2017, we will bring a renewed desire and determination to thrive within GPVWC; as I believe we can do.



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