FAT Turbo Racing
FAT Turbo Racing was a Scottish F1RWRS motorsport team that competed for a single season in 2013. Formed by Scottish racing driver Dave McFaste, the team were moderately successful during their existence, though this was brought to an unexpected, and tragic end when McFaste lost his life at the Chinese Grand Prix. Subsequently the team was bought by Barii Mori, who utilised the chassis and engine from the team for his own outfit Kamaha Motorsports in 2014. The rest of the operation, the team's entry, staff and base, were sold to a consortium fronted by Hagane Shizuka, who went on to establish Shonan DMS Racing.
Formation of FAT Turbo
McFaste had originally formed FAT Turbo in late 2012 to allow him to compete in the Suzuka Charity Race, but was denied an entry as the grid had already been filled. Undeterred, the Scotsman went on to establish a full-time racing operation for the 2013 season, convincing existing sponsor F.A.T Turbo Express to stay on as title sponsor for the whole year. From their base in Kilmarnock, the team quickly drew up plans for a chassis, titled the FAT13/01, and soon after announced a customer deal for a supply of Hart engines as well. A second driver was still required however and after a period of time, McFaste announced Prince Saeed Al Faisal of Saudi Arabia would join the team, bringing with him a sizeable financial contribution which would allow the team to develop the car over the season.
Over the course of 2013, FAT Turbo enjoyed some moderate success, with three points finishes overall, and a highlight of a 3rd place for Shizuka at the team's final race at Brazil. The reliability of the car however left much to be desired, with neither car finishing the first six races. Whilst the Hart engine proved to be very powerful, it simply couldn't last a full race distance for the majority of the time. Along with the three points finishes, FAT Turbo managed only two other race finishes during the year.
Merger Talks, and McFaste's Death
Following retirement from the Dutch Grand Prix, McFaste declared that he was suffering from leukaemia, and planned to merge the team with another outfit for 2014 as he felt he would no longer be able to support an entire team himself. Prior to the Mediterranean GP McFaste and Barii Mori announced that FAT Turbo Racing and Kamaha Motorsports would merge for 2014. It was also at this point that Al Faisal was replaced by Hagane Shizuka, who would drive for the team for the remainder of the year.
At the Chinese Grand Prix, McFaste crashed on lap 33 following a collision between himself and Dave Simpson. Having climbed from the car unaided, he was given the all clear from the medical centre with nothing but a severe headache. This in fact proved to be a cerebral haemorrhage, and later that night McFaste was found dead in his hotel room. He was 31.
Re-Grouping, the Sale to Shizuka, and the Creation of Shonan
The immediate ramifications for FAT Turbo proved to be complex. Having lost their founder, manager and lead driver, the team were at a loss. Eventually however Mori purchased the entire team, and continued to run it for the remaining two races. Shizuka moved up to lead driver, whilst Jari Kekkonen was signed to drive the other car, having been without a drive since he'd been dumped by Team Phoenix after the British Grand Prix. The season ended on a fittingly high note when Shizuka drove brilliantly to finish in 3rd place at the final race in Brazil, a result which ironically put Kahama into pre-qualifying for the 2014 season.
The team then faced the predicament of the upcoming 2014 season. Mori intended to use the team's FAT13/01 chassis and Hart engine as a potential for Kamaha's 2014 car, and thus sold only the team's supposed entry, plus its staff and facilities to a consortium of businessmen who were led by Hagane Shizuka who wanted to ensure he had a drive for 2014. In reality without the engine and chassis, Shizuka was forced to essentially create a new team by F1RWRS Commission regulations, and this became Shonan DMS Racing, though it continued to operate from FAT Turbo's base in Kilmarnock.
Complete F1RWRS Results
|10||Saeed Al Faisal||Ret||Ret||Ret||Ret||Ret||Ret||DNPQ||Ret||Ret||DNPQ||Ret|
- † Driver did not finish the Grand Prix, but was classified as they completed over 90% of the race distance.
- ^ Dave McFaste died as the result of an accident at the Chinese Grand Prix