Former British American Racing team boss Craig Pollock is set to make a return to Formula 1 under the new-for-2013 engine regulations where he will head an organisation that will provide teams with customer 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo engines.
His company is called PURE, an acronym for Propulsion Universelle et Recuperation d’Energie, and the former manager of Jacques Villeneuve has recruited a team of management and technical partners for the project. These figures include former Renault F1 figures Jean-Pierre Boudy and Christian Contzen, while Robin Southwell, an expert in aerospace engineering, is also on board.
The company will also call upon the expertise of a number of other companies, including former F1 engine supplier Mecachrome, in the design and construction of these new engines.
Pollock’s name has been bandied around F1 circles for the last few weeks, although the Swiss was cagey about any future involvement in F1. He had only offered a rather cryptic comment that he was “working on projects involved in the technical, marketing and sponsorship side of motorsports in general”, while adding at the time that there was nothing yet ready to be announced in more detail.
It is believed that a prototype engine will be tested on the dyno in the outfit’s Paris operation by the end of the year, with the project having kicked off in secret as soon as the FIA announced its greener 2013 engine regulations.
It is not yet known what name the PURE engines may go under (or indeed, if there is an alternative moniker that will be used), but it would appear that the outfit will operate in a similar manner – and as an alternative choice – to customer engine supplier Cosworth.
Speaking about his announcement, Pollock said: “The vision for PURE is to be a leader in the development of the next generation power train technology which must respond to the demands for a cleaner environment.
“The 2013 F1 power train regulation changes offer PURE an immediate platform to field test and validate future technologies for implementation in other industries,” he added, and it is believed that the technology could be expanded to include support for the aerospace and defence industries.
Pollock believes that, like Cosworth, he will be an attractive option for teams seeking more cost-effective means of accessing F1-spec engines, and perhaps that he could offer engines at a lower price than those being sought by other engine manufacturers such as Mercedes, Renault or Ferrari.
“The reality is that if you have 400-450 employees such as Mercedes have or 300 in the case of Renault – then your overheads are extremely high,” he added.
“We are a very tight team, and being tight means that our costs are an awful lot lower – and that means we should be able to carry over this cost reduction to the teams and give them a cost-effective power train.”
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