The team’s first full year of independent racing went far better than planned
Bedford-based Team Hamster Racing (also known as Porsche and German car specialist, TH Racing) completed their first full year in the 750MC BMW 116 Trophy throughout 2022.
As one of the few privateer outfits competing in the fiercely fought series, the team were pleased with some solid mid-pack results throughout the season.
Team Hamster Racing entrusted EBC Brakes’ Bluestuff NDX brake pads throughout the season, which they said were fundamental in their successes.
You can read the thoughts of Team Director, James Cannon, in his own words below.
“Now the race season is over, it’s time to look back at our first full year of independent racing!
“Having spent the preceding six months building the car, we arrived at Donington Park at the end of March, for our pre-season sponsors’ event.
“It was a great opportunity for our partners to meet each other as well as the team, and it was nice to put names to faces as we had representatives from almost all our sponsors there. It was a real pleasure to go round the pits showing them how their support had helped us build our first car.
“With the pleasantries out of the way, it was time to go racing! We started our season at Oulton Park. With a bit of an intimidating grid of 40 cars to compete against, the team showed its previous race experience as we all pulled together, finishing our first 90-minute race in 25th place. One of very few new teams this season, we were thrilled to finish above 15 tried-and-tested cars.
“Next up, the home of British motorsport – Silverstone. A brilliant experience to race on such a fast circuit. We did struggle with the setup that weekend, having not had a lot of setup time. Towards the end of the race, we had a small incident, being pushed off-track by one of the leading cars, but it was still a successful weekend – we finished 20th in another big field of cars.
“It was already mid-summer by this point and time to return to Donington Park. This weekend marked a step forward for the team as we welcomed our first ‘arrive and drive’ customer. A driver who having already competed in the trophy with one of our rival teams, hired the driver’s seat for a portion of the race. A difficult weekend again with little setup time, however, we held our own, finishing in 27th position.
“With a very short turnaround, we headed to Brands Hatch in the same month. Having struggled at Donington, the team doubled down with one of our best results, finishing 15th on track. More importantly, this weekend we hosted our first ‘at-race’ sponsors’ event. Thank you to everyone who attended.”
“We finished the season last month at Snetterton. A huge three-day race meeting for the 750 Motor Club (our organising body), which saw a vast amount of cars on track in many different formulas. We were graced with great weather considering it was October and it was good to see more representatives of our sponsors who came down to watch.
“We thankfully had a full day setup session before this race and we really honed the car’s handling. Qualifying was hectic, as ever, and none of us felt we got a good lap in but we could feel the car’s potential beneath us.
“Having qualified in 27th, we made a fantastic start, moving up seven places on the first lap alone – we were really moving and on course for the best result of the season! Until, unfortunately, on lap three, we were side swiped; not a very heavy impact but it caused our rear right tyre to blow out, typically on the first corner after the pit lane.
“The car was limped the whole lap, back to the pits with a flat tyre. By the time we got back out on track, we weren’t just last, but two laps down. Never to give up we pushed on, and with the damage, the car didn’t feel as quick as it had done earlier but we fought hard. Having been two laps down before the first round of pit stops, we finished the race in 27th out of 35 running cars.
“No, we never troubled the podium, however, I am incredibly proud of our little team in their first year. We definitely made mistakes along the way and hopefully have learned from them. For example, evening test sessions are not long enough, and we will only do full-day testing from now on. You can by and large correlate our race results to the amount of time we had testing at a circuit.
“To sum up, we started the season with only one ambition; to finish every race we started – we did that and more.
“Team Hamster Racing was the dream of one mechanic who when the race programme he ran at work was closed down, decided to do it for himself. It started as a bit of fun for a group of friends but has become far more than that.
“Stay tuned for 2023, where we might even try EBC’s RP pad range…”