DSC caught up with AF Racing and R-Motorsport team co-owner Dr Florian Kamelger at Spa last weekend to discuss the aspirations for the new partnership between AF Racing AG and HWA AG, which was announced last week, and look into the potential projects that could emerge from it.
AF Racing (Andreas (Baenziger) Florian (Kamelger) Racing), which owns and runs the R-Motorsport team, is looking to expand and grow, as it has done in the past few years. This news sees HWA (Mercedes’ DTM partner organisation) now in partnership with AF Racing “for development projects in auto racing and in the automotive sector in general”.
While there’s still many questions yet to be answered, Kamelger was able to provide further insight about the direction of this new venture. And for further clarity, Aston Martin has told DSC that at present, no decisions on programmes beyond its known commitments in GTE, GT3 and GT4 have been made.
Florian, let’s start with future programmes. Could DTM (possibly with Aston Martin) or indeed Le Mans, with a top class GT Prototype, be in the organisation’s near to medium term future?
“We announced this week a planned joint venture between AF Racing and HWA. It’s big step for us, and for our group to diversify our automotive division into a very sustainable future growth.
It’s big step for us, and for our group to diversify our automotive division into a very sustainable future growth
“It will be an innovation partnership between the two companies. We all know how successful HWA has been in the past in racing and in the production of small series race cars.
“This can be a win-win situation.”
How long has this been in the works?
“It has moved forward very quickly, over the last few weeks. It responds to our strategy moving forward which is to have access to small series production, and race car production facilities.
And how quickly is this going to come together?
“We will work over the next weeks and months to set it up operationally. That’s going to be quite an effort but, as entrepreneurs we don’t wait for two, three, five years, we count in days and weeks and months.”
Rumours are around about DTM, and about Valkyrie into WEC/ LMP1/ GTP…
“As far as WEC is concerned with Aston Martin and a factory programme you would have to ask them about that, it is not for me to comment upon.
“Regarding a possible GTP programme I have never made a mystery of the fact that I would love to see R-Motorsport running at Le Mans. I have said this from the first instant that we put R-Motorsport onto the radar. Le Mans is, to many of us, and to me as well, the biggest race in the world.
“But obviously a lot of goals have to be achieved before you can talk about definitely entering Le Mans. It has to do with all of the regulation changes going on at the moment – nothing is concrete yet from the officials there so, for now, this is a potential wish for the future.”
That said are you, and the team, looking up and down the class structure at GTE, or even at LMP2, or do the current proposals for LMP1/GTP suit your the aspirations better, does it have potential for R-Motorsport?
“Yes it has potential for R-Motorsport. If the GTP regulations come along as the speculation at the moment state them to be then it could be a real possibility for us.
If the GTP regulations come along as the speculation at the moment state them to be then it could be a real possibility for us
“On DTM, we are a young, fast growing racing team and we are always looking at the possible directions for the team. I always say that DTM is, for me, is one of the greatest series. DTM is pure racing.
“To answer your question regarding Aston Martin going in to DTM there have been rumours around for some weeks after an interview that Dr (Helmut) Marko gave. In amongst a wide range of series and championships we are looking at, DTM is included in that process, but there is nothing concrete there.
“The joint venture with HWA is not meant to be a vehicle to go into DTM for us, the joint venture with HWA is meant to be, and will be, an innovation partnership in different aspects. DTM could be a potential outcome of that but nothing concrete has been decided.”
Could the HWA link have a part to play with your role on the Aston Martin Valkyrie programme?
“The (Valkyrie) arrangement has three partners: Aston Martin, Red Bull Technology and AF Racing, an established partnership which works extremely well and there is no involvement from HWA in that at all.”