Struggling GP2 team David Price Racing have announced that they are set to invest heavily into an expanded research and development programme for 2008, starting with the acquisition of former Super Aguri Chief Race Engineer Gerry Hughes.
Intended to improve a disappointing 2008 season that has so far yielded just a single point, DPR are making the most of a substantial investment made by Andre Herck – father of DPR driver Michael Herck – to bolster their behind the scene department.
Hughes comes to DPR clutching 15 years of Formula 1 experience and is intended to kick-start an engineering operation that will include F1-level aerodynamics research consultancy, a focus on simulation and 7-post rig testing.
Hughes, who has worked for Super Aguri, Red Bull, Jaguar and Jordan in the past was delighted to be joining one of the most revered names in British motorsport.
“We have a very experienced race engineer with Andy Miller, and Tom has been race engineer with DPR for four seasons now. I hope I will add another element to the team bringing fresh ideas and recent Formula One thinking. I think this can add to the professionalism in terms of procedures and operational aspects of running the car which will reap rewards in terms of on-track performance.”
Team principal David Price was also pleased to be inviting Hughes on board as they strive to match the heights of their race winning season in 2005.
“GP2 continues to become more and more competitive. We've been fortunate to have an excellent on-track engineering team led by Andy Miller and to keep making progress we have invested more heavily in the engineering operation, with an increased emphasis on the off-track programme.
Gerry's arrival strengthens our team, which was already highly experienced, so it brings us up to a very high standard. Combining this level of personnel with a structured R & D programme aims to improve our capabilities and performance potential.
“Our commitment to making performance gains is a long-term strategy and our aim is that over the remainder of this European season, through the Asia Series this winter and into next season we'll keep developing our package of drivers, car and team, and that ultimately it will translate into improved results.
“The expansion drive has been helped by Andre Herck buying into the team and I think we now have the strongest engineering department that we've had since we joined GP2 in 2005, and the biggest investment in off-track performance related activities.”