News Walter Hayes Trophy

Souley aiming for expanded Ecurie Australie partnership

Souley Motorsport is hoping to expand its partnership with the Ecurie Australie team even further, despite already fielding the largest entry at this year’s Walter Hayes Trophy.

Eight cars were present under the Souley banner at Silverstone, six of which participated in the Pre93 category.

Having slowly built-up a relationship between the two teams on the opposite side of the world, team manager Brian Soule wants to expand the crossover further still.

“I spoke with Chris [Davison] for the first time probably about three years ago now, and it’s grown massively since then,” explained Soule.

“We’ve been taking UK drivers over and racing in Australia using some of their cars over there. We’ve also got one of our own cars over there as well now, stationed in Australia.”

Despite the large squad size, only three of Souley’s cars were occupied by Australian visitors, the remainder mostly composed of team regulars from the Castle Combe and National series.

Soule is aiming to expand the Australian contingent in his team, whilst at the same time looking to send his own drivers to Phillip Island and Bathurst next year.

“The other side is they’re coming over here and using our cars,” he added.

“We’re just trying to encourage more of the Australians to do the same, which is what Todd [Willing] has done with us this weekend.

“He’s come over off the back of a recommendation from Chris and Richard [Davison].”

“Hopefully we can grow it into more Australians coming this way and more Englishmen going that way.”

The need for further driver exchanges was demonstrated by struggles for the Australian trio during Saturday’s wet races.

Having practiced and set-up their cars for dry conditions, a short 10-minute qualifying session was insufficient preparation time for the damp afternoon heats.

“We had a great Thursday and Friday. I think we were right up with the quickest runners of the Pre93s then, and nearly two seconds a lap quicker than I was two years ago,” said Richard Davison.

“The weather gods had a trick up their sleeve for us. We had a 10-minute qualifying session in the pouring rain, and 10 minutes isn’t enough time to work out how to drive these cars in the wet.

“It’s just familiarisation. Ten minutes around here in the wet against guys that lived here all their lives driving this circuit. Typically we don’t do a lot of wet driving in Australia.

“Two years ago [at the Walter Hayes Trophy] it was wet during practice, and because we had two days’ worth of practice, I felt we got going pretty well. But 10 minutes just wasn’t enough time, simple as that.”

Alasdair is Digital Manager for FF1600website and was previously Scottish FF1600 correspondent. When not busy with FF1600, his day job is with Mediatica, a motorsport PR firm.

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