Behind the scenes | Q&A with Team BMR Chief Designer Carl Faux
Success in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship is never won by the driver alone. With 30 gruelling contests over the course of the season, a strong team that can keep pace with the fierce development race is essential to be in with a shot at the title come the Brands Hatch finale in October.
One of the BTCC’s top engineering talents, Carl Faux, has been hard at work preparing the all-new Subaru Levorg machines that Team BMR is bringing to the series for 2016, and we spoke to him ahead of the Season Launch next week at Donington Park, 22 March.
Is it exciting to be working with Subaru as a new manufacturer coming into the BTCC?
“Subaru have a long established motorsport heritage and to continue the brands’ participation at the top level by introducing them to the BTCC is a very exciting project. For them to have the confidence in BMR to do this is not to be underestimated, and to be honest from my point of view it’s an honour to be leading not only Team BMR’s first car build but to be able to do this with Subaru’s new Levorg model.”
Are you looking forward to defending the current Teams’ Championship title?
“We are very much looking forward to defending this title with an all new challenger, even though we are realistic about the challenges of delivering success in arguably the most competitive championship in the world. It is with immense determination to return not only the Teams’ battle but also the only championship BMR has not been eligible for previously, the Manufacturers’.”
What will be the most distinctive feature of the car?
“The sound! With the boxer engine, something that has never before been used in the BTCC, we have some major obstacles to overcome. Yes the layout has been used successfully in the past, however that was in a different generation and the 2.0l FA20 is very new and completely different architecture to what has gone before.”
What is going to be the biggest challenge with the Subaru project?
“Engineering challenges is what the project presents. A new engine, car and all the new generation of TOCA components requires a methodical approach, but we are making good progress despite getting the green light very late. Establishing a three-year programme means we can focus on getting the basics right early before developing the package further over the following years. Trust me when I say the whole team at Subaru, BMR and Mountune are burning the midnight oil at the moment to ensure we achieve our objectives.”
What are you looking forward to the most in 2016?
“The BTCC is in good shape at the moment, the grid is looking very likely to be full and manufacturers are excited to be involved. The viewing figures speak for themselves and that is down to the competitive, technically challenging, entertaining production that the whole championship delivers. We are really looking forward to Brands Hatch for the season opener and of course the final round because that’s where the trophies are handed out. Until then…”