Home' Supercar Xtra : Feb Mar 2015 Issue 85 Contents 2727
funded the team to the necessary level anyway. There
will simply be less financial pressure on him for the
next couple of years.
Hollway and his brains trust are also grappling
with the implications of the changes to 2015 formats,
which will increase testing at events and cut down
independent test days.
“The whole speed of change of stuff, that is key to
it now,” he explains. “Everything you design now you
must be able to change it quickly, otherwise you can’t
“The testing is going to have even more an empha-
sis on that. Anything you do you need to be able to
baseline to your new spec quickly and then be able to
change it back again.
“That goes back to the guys being smart in the
drawing office and making stuff so you can make those
changes quickly and accurately and also doing a lot of
pre setup work where you have a corner setup and
you have all the parts pre-toed ready to go so you can
throw them on quickly.
“The well-organised and structured teams that do
the best job to make the most of those test days are
going to be the ones who leap forward.”
Which brings in the human element. GRM has long
had the reputation as one of the happiest teams on
pitlane but in 2015 – if it is to make the great step
forward and go toe-to-toe with Triple Eight – it must
also be slickly efficient, minimise mistakes, maximise
on strategy and not crack under intense pressure.
“The guys have probably thrived on the pressure
if anything,” declares team manager Dean Cowling.
“Definitely having a bit more limelight around you
creates a bit more emotion on the whole thing, but
the roles haven’t changed at all and they have
stuck to their guns.
need to step up to that next level. And that
doesn’t mean we need to necessarily change
anything, just a bit more particular atten-
tion to what we do and having to be on the
ball 100 per cent of the time.”
Stability means a lot in a team. Staff
turn-over is a bad sign and GRM is one of the most
stable teams on pitlane. In 2015, Hollway will again
lead #33 and Manuel Sanchez will engineer #34. Their
crews will be basically unchanged and backing them up
will be many familiar faces.
“You get stability from guys that have been around
for a few years and that’s what builds a good team,”
“That’s what I have been really happy with – the way
we have been operating for the last three years. We
have had a really stable bunch of blokes and I haven’t
had to turn over too many blokes at all.”
In fact, the biggest turnover has been in the cockpit.
McLaughlin enters his third season with the team with
his third different teammate.
It was Frenchman and good friend Alexandre Prémat
in year one, Swede Robert Dahlgren in 2014, while
journeyman David Wall joins up for 2015.
McLaughlin definitely sees the arrival of an experi-
enced local driver as a step forward.
“David has been in the category the last few years and
he knows the tracks, so that in some ways advances
our conversations a bit more,” he says.
“We will talk about corners and how to take them,
but I won’t have to go completely into detail like I had
to with Robert.
“It’s quite good for both of us because instead of
talking about driving we are going to talk about the car
and how to make it faster.”
McLaughlin and Wall will also be able to go back
IS HISTORY REPEATING?
Volvo’s only Australian Touring Car Championship victory
came in the second season of a campaign with a Kiwi behind
The Mark Petch-prepared Volvo 240T, like the Polestar
S60 in 2014, won a handful of races in its first season with
Robbie Francevic under the new Group A regulations in 1985.
In its sophomore season in 1986, Francevic won three of
the four opening rounds and went on to claim the champion-
ship, despite simmering tensions between driver and team
that led to the Auckland resident’s sacking before Bathurst.
The Volvo 240T disappeared from the grid come 1987
but the 1986 success ensured Volvo’s place in Australian
Will McLaughlin and the Polestar S60 replicate Francevic
and the 240T’s second-season success in 2015? Could light-
ening could strike twice? We’ll find out.
V8X85 p22-28 Volvo.indd 27
23/01/2015 5:10 pm
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