Boxtel Engineering is a Dutch F1RWRS team that will compete in the 2015 F1RWRS season. They have signed Andrea Battani as their lead driver and 2011 F1RWRS champion Nathanael Spencer for the season. They have also signed Johannes Rueckert as their test driver and Jari Kekkonen as reserve driver. Spencer was sacked after just four races and Kekkonen took over the second driver's spot.
Formation and pre-2015 Changes
After a disappointing year for American Racing Conglomerate, the team were besotted by financial problems and pull-outs. Boxtel stepped in with an answer; financial stability for the ailing team, but only on the promise of a complete takeover. The deal was finalised, with Boxtel not being counted as a new constructor. The team immediately relocated the main base to the town of Boxtel in the southern Netherlands (the site of the Duke of Wellington's first battle in 1794). Compared to the previous ownership, Boxtel instantly exuded an air of professionalism. Boxtel severed all ties with ARC by sacking Jesus Plaza. In a shrewd decision, Boxtel refused to release Plaza to another team until January thirty-first which prevented another team from snapping him up. He was hired as the test driver to Kamaha. Boxtel also performed well in the chassis war, ditching ARC's old chassis for a far more reliabile design. The team immediately applied pressure on Spencer by holding a new driver test at Zandvoort on February 4th. The team then hired Jari Kekkonen as their second reserve driver as Rueckert was unable to do the job full-time. In preseason testing, Battani performed well but Spencer was miles off the pace.
Sega, which had originally sponsored ARC since 2013, returned as team's major sponsor.
2015 F1RWRS season
The season started well as Battani and Spencer got the team into the main qualifying session at the 2015 F1RWRS Tasman Grand Prix. Battani and Spencer respectively qualified 12th and 17th on Saturday. The team's debut race went even better as Battani drove brilliantly to finish in fifth, scoring his and Boxtel's first points in the F1RWRS. Spencer drove an anonymous race en route to a ninth place finish. Battani's two points was enough to surpass ARC's entire point total from 2014. Unfortunately, the team couldn't continue their massive progress at the next round in Australia as Battani and Spencer were unable to make it out of pre-qualifying. Much of the blame went to Battani who was several seconds behind the session-leading Alitalia car. Battani was better at the 2015 F1RWRS Mediterranean Grand Prix and both cars slipped into the main qualifying session. Battani started eleventh and made his way up to eighth during the race (despite an early mechanical) while Spencer anonymously retired with five laps to go.
In Monaco, Battani was nearly a full second slower than Spencer but the team again escaped pre-qualifying. Spencer's pre-qualifying pace did not translate to qualifying as he did not qualify. Battani put in a sterling effort and qualified ninth, finishing in a competent seventh in the race. At this point, Kollin Holles was fed up with Spencer's ineptitude and he brought in reserve driver Jari Kekkonen for the next race. Kekkonen was immediately effective, topping the pre-qualifying session in Mexico, and beating Battani by one second. Battani had a disappointing race and retired with a water leak. Kekkonen drove well and finished eighth, two laps down on winner Mark Dagnall. Battani's poor run in pre-qualifying reached its zenith at the 2015 F1RWRS United States Grand Prix. Kekkonen was again effective and placed second but Battani could only manage eighteenth, sending the team home early on Friday. Battani made up for it in Canada and the team easily made it into qualifying. However, Kekkonen failed to qualify and Battani was collected in a first-lap pileup after starting twenty-fourth. With one race to go before the pre-qualifying cut, Boxtel had to score points at the next round in Great Britain or they would remain in pre-qualifying.
Luckily, the British Grand Prix turned out to be the best weekend of the team's short existence; both drivers made it past pre-quali. Then, Andrea stunned the field by qualifying sixth, Boxtel's best grid position of the season. He was able to convert his high grid position into a brilliant fourth place finish. Kekkonen also finished the race. The result lifted Boxtel out of pre-qualifying over Holden and ArrowTech.
|2015||Boxtel Engineering||BOX-015||Ford HBD VI||TAS||AUS||MED||MON||MEX||USA||CAN||GBR||GER||BEL||AUT||ITA||NDS||CHI||JPN||BRA||11||10th|
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