Successful Le Mans debut for Caparo
Caparo-supported Barazi Epsilon team finishes fifth in LMP2 class
In their first outing at the 24 hours of Le Mans, the Caparo-supported Barazi Epsilon team finished a commendable fifth in the LMP2 class. Having qualified third in class, the team ran strongly in the opening hours of the race, holding onto third position, before a number of minor problems with the car's fuel pressure and suspension cost them valuable time. At the conclusion of the 24 hours, the team completed 304 laps giving Caparo extensive experience of sportscar racing and a valuable insight into possible applications for its various technologies.
"I am delighted with the result of the race and the experience it has given Caparo," says Angad Paul, chief executive officer, Caparo. "As one of the most challenging races in the motorsport calendar we have seen first hand the demanding environment that sportcars have to deal with. We can now look in more detail at how we can apply our wide range of technologies to develop lightweight components and structures for this highly-competitive environment."
The Barazi Epsilon team was one of two teams competing at Le Mans to use a Zytek 07S chassis, and the only one to complete the full 24 hours. The car was driven by Juan Barazi, Michael Vergers and Stuart Moseley, who coped magnificently in the closing hours of the race by successfully controlling the car and returning it to the pits after a puncture at high speed on the Mulsanne Straight. The tyre deflation caused significant bodywork damage and meant the team lost further time while the car was rebuilt.
Following Le Mans, Caparo will now evaluate the opportunities for further involvement in sportscar racing for the 2009 season. The company's automotive expertise covers many areas where it is applying innovative design and manufacturing techniques to help vehicle manufacturers reduce lead times and focus on weight reduction. "I am excited about the opportunities for Caparo's involvement in high-level motorsport," continues Paul. "Our weight reduction technologies such as lightweight brakes and new carbon composite technology could deliver significant benefits for teams helping them to achieve greater levels of success on the track. Additionally, motorsport involvement could provide us with a rigorous and demanding test-environment for many of our new design and manufacturing techniques which we hope to make more widely available to mainstream automotive manufacturers."
In order to demonstrate the breadth and depth of the company's automotive technology capabilities, Caparo developed the ultra high performance track-focused T1 which weighs just 550kg and produces more than 1,000bhp/tonne. 80 percent of the vehicle's content is manufactured by Caparo, including the composite body, engine and advanced braking system.
Caparo Group is a worldwide manufacturing company specialising principally in steel, aluminium and composite products for all industries. The group, led by chief executive officer Angad Paul, was founded in 1968 by Lord Paul and remains wholly owned by the Paul family with global headquarters in London. The company's automotive and engineering businesses, have considerable expertise in precision-formed and lightweight metal products (including stamping, forgings, machining and aluminium castings), in fasteners and high-precision tubing, as well as in systems and module integration, carbon composite structures and high-performance braking systems. www.caparo.com