Mecha Grand Prix
The start of team dates back to 1995, when two Indonesian mechanics, Mahmud Effendi and Chandra Adriansyah were forced to create a racing team in order to enter a national touring car race in Sentul. The duo ran a Honda Accord for the race, but failed to finish. In 1997 Effendi and Asriansyah temporarily split to become mechanics in the Percision and Dome F1 projects respectively, but neither project took off. Following this, and the Asian crisis, both Effendi and Adriansyah decided to return to Indonesia, running their team for one-make touring car and national/regional rally events. By 2005 the team had expanded their operations to the Asian Formula Renault Challenge, with mixed results.
2014: Entering F1RWRS
In 2013, Adriansyah temporaily split from Effendi once more to become technical advisor for fellow Indonesian team Flying Fish Motorsports, run by Resi Respati. However, at the end of the 2013 season, Flying Fish were forced to shut down operations, after a deal with Aguri Suzuki fell through at the last minute. With Effendi now out of a job, he and his long time friend Adriansyah considered buying the team. After little deliberation, much of the Flying Fish assets and equipment were acquired by Effendi and Adriansyah, including Flying Fish's entry into the 2014 F1RWRS season. The team was renamed Mecha Grand Prix before pre-season testing, with most of the Flying Fish staff staying on board. Mecha announced that series veteran James Davies would be joining the team for the new season alongside Saudi pay-driver Saeed Al Faisal, making the line-up arguably one of the most experienced of the new teams entering the series in 2014. Their new chassis, the FM-14, composed mainly of new components as well as old Flying Fish and 2012 HRT F1 Team components was developed in time for the first race of the season, being powered by a Ford DFZ engine. The team used Pirelli tires, as opposed to Flying Fish's Bridgestone.
Along with other fellow newcomers (Acuri Autosport, Mitie Aviation Racing, Dofasco Racing, Tropico Grand Prix, and Shonan DMS Racing), Mecha were forced to faced the fiercely competitive pre-qualifying session. With a fairly conservative overall package, ambitions were set accordingly low; to even qualify for a race would be an excellent achievement for the small team. The team's failure to pre-qualify for the first 8 races of the season led to the team sacking the underperforming Al Faisal, replacing him with the Briton Steven Mackintosh, previously from Mitie. Altohugh Mackintosh provided the team with it's first start, at the Belgian Grand Prix, he retired soon after the start of the race, ending a promising competitive debut for the young team. The rest of the season proved to be a struggle to pre-qualify, with both Mackintosh and Davies failing to drag the car onto the grid for any of the remaining races (reportedly because the team at that time were focusing in the 2015 car), leading to Davies leaving at the season after he was unhappy with his failure with the team. The team promptly replaced him with former Prospec driver Jean-Luc Schiller for 2015.
During the season a internal managerial dispute led the management split into two: senior and executive. The split of management led to the sacking of Effendi.
2015: First finish gives the team a hope
Following season-ending controversies, the team's executives controversially voted to sack and impeach team prinicpal Effendi. He was replaced by executive chairman Dominic Hermann (not to be confused with the German Herrmann Mann), owner of the now-defunct Dominic Racing Team that took part in 2000 DTM season and 2001 Prost GP season, and one time rival to Ferrari's Andreas Stefano in the F1RGP2C. Prior to Effendi's "impeachment", Schiller have been announced as the replacement for Davies. Hermann kept Schiller and Mackintosh, but he has been internally critized because of his arrogant management, even in the pre-season. Hermann and Effendi evantually setteled, allowing Effendi to return to the team's management.
Mecha prepared a new car for this season, the FM-15, largely based on the old FM-14. Strikes caused by uncertainty surrounding the manegerial regime during the off season delayed the completion of the car, and the final change in the management structure gave the team a fresh look and feel going into the new season. The team had signed up to use a higher spec version of the Ford engine, the HB IV, instead of the old, under powered DFZ unit that had been used throughout 2014. The team managed to obtain sponsorship from German computer manufacturer Medion, which also became the team's technical and intercomms partner.
The season initially started like the previous one left off, with more double DNQs, but the team was delighted to score a double qualification at the Monaco Grand Prix. This would be the first time that both Mecha's would appear on the grid, and the team's drivers didn't dissapoint, with both Mechas outqualifying both Sunshine cars. The team was also boosted by the fact that Mackintosh had out-qualified former Mecha driver James Davies, who left the team amidst a blaze of bad publicity and controversy at the end of the 2014 season. Schiller suffered problems that caused him to retire from the race, but Mackintosh finished ninth, ahead of series vetrans Douglas Mann and Sammy Jones, to the delight of both himself and his team. The first finish boosted the morale within Mecha - gone were the days of Double DNQs and unessecary controversy. The team failed to qualify in the next round at Mexico, but Schiller returned to action in United States, the next round, with Mackintosh failing to qualify, only for Schiller to found himself involved in a first-lap pileup. The DNPQs returned by Canadian round, and things appeared to worsen when Schiller left the team mid-season after Austria and took away his Credit Suisse money to Tropico Grand Prix. Former Tropico driver Nathan Scott was immediately signed to replace him.
The team also competed in Formula One Rejects Big Car Championship, running a Lola-Honda car for Kazuhiko Takagi, with the team running with some staff from Takagi's own racing team, Takagi Racing Enterprises (which, in 2015, became an F3RWRS team, which gave drive for Mecha's development driver Hendra Naufal after Team Asia was shut down). The series only lasted 3 races before it's premature demise, the partnership with TRE dying along with the short-lived championship. The team later ran a team for F1 Rejects Indy Championship Series with Dave Anderson and Harold Watson driving. Anderson won in early races of the series, and he is currently leading the drivers' championship, thanks with up-to-date Lola-Honda chassis combination. Watson, while struggled with the car that the team continously update (Watson's car is B13/00, as opposed to Anderson's B14/00), has managed to fight with the mid-field opposition.
The rallying division of Mecha, Dirt Fox Racing Project, is also competing in the TMRRC. Japanese rally pay-driver Onodera Ikari, which drove for the team, drove the slowest in Monte Carlo - so slow that he obtains the series first ever Reject of the Rally. He however managed to steal a point in the JRRC standings after Matt Older did not start the rally.
The junior arm of the Mecha Grand Prix meanwhile is currently competing in F1RDS with Mustafa Kurniawan, part of Mecha's driver development programme and Malaysian Nestra Aya driving. Kurniawan's podium in French GP feature race led to Aya being sacked for being dead-beat and he was subsequently replaced by Kastazumo Nakaya who was recently fired from Red Bull World Race Team.
Before the Japanese Grand Prix, the team filed a lawsuit against former driver Saeed Al Faisal after light critiscisms about the team following his announcement to drive for ArrowTech ART. Despite critiscisms from the paddock, and the risk of ruining the team with the financial implications of going to court, team ownership were passionate about suing Al Faisal for alleged libel. The lawsuit was highly criticised by F1RWRS drivers and news papers, who exprressed their severe disgust at the actions of Mecha GP. Following unanimous support in favour of Al Faisal, the lack of any money to pay the lawyers, and threats of severe penalties for the team, the case was quickly dropped. The scandal was one of many high profile incidents for the Mecha GP management in 2014, the other being Remindergate and the impeachment of team principal Mahmud Effendi.
Allegations of cheating
In 2014, days after the Luxembourg non-championship race (in which the team entered Damon Cannon to sort-out his superlicence issues), Japanese Autosport ran a news article suggesting that Mecha Grand Prix used old DGNgineering cars. James Davies quickly denied the rumor by complaining about the car's handling. The team quickly called scrutineers of the Luxembourg race, and they also confirmed that the cars were indeed not old DGNginnering cars.
Impeachment and sacking of Mahmud Effendi
Since mid-way through the season, Mecha Grand Prix's management have been split into two: the senior management (the main management, supporting Effendi) and executive ones (the higher management and the proponets of Effendi's sacking). The executive management started to get sick of Effendi's controversial behaviour and started to view his behavior as hazardous and dangerous to team's reputation. Talks to sack and impeach Effendi were started and in response, some of team's employees took strike to support it. Effendi quickly announced that those 'going against him' would be dismissed from the team. The strikes led to delays of progress of the FM-15, Mecha's 2015 car.
The executive and senior management of the team met on December 19, 2014 to discuss about possible firing of Effendi, but they could not agree on the issue because the senior management sided with Effendi. At the night of December 20, 2014, the vote regarding the impeachment of Effendi started. Whilist the senior management walked out from the voting, the executive management voted almost unanimously to remove Effendi from the team prinicipal position. The executive managament also fired some staff of the senior management deemed supportive of Effendi. Effendi described his removal from the managerial seat an 'executive meddling' and insisted that he had nothing to do with the lawsuit or letters. Evantually the executive management voted that executive chairman Dominic Hermann as the new principal, again unanimously. The election of Hermann as the new principal however turned out to backfire when the some staff labelled him arrogant. On early February however, both Effendi and Hermann agreed to settle and Effendi returned as team's chairman, left vacant when Hermann became principal. Effendi also agreed to have 40% of team's stake be under Hermann's control.
|If anyone can help insert Mecha F1RDS results, it will be verily welcomed. ~FMecha|
|2014||Mecha FM-14||Ford DFZ||TAS||AUS||BRA||MEX||USA||MON||FRA||GBR||GER||BEL||ITA||MED||NDS||MAC||CHN||JPN||=15th||0|
|40||Saeed Al Faisal||DNPQ||DNPQ||DNPQ||DNPQ||DNPQ||DNPQ||DNPQ||DNPQ|
|2015||Mecha FM-15||Ford HB IV||TAS||AUS||MED||MON||MEX||USA||CAN||GBR||GER||BEL||AUT||ITA||NDS||CHN||JPN||BRA||=9th*||0*|
|Current F1RWRS Teams|
|Defunct F1RWRS Teams|
| Acuri - AMR - ARC - Bangelia - Calinetic - Dagnall/DGN - FAT Turbo - Flying Fish Motorsports - GRM - Hemogoblin - Horizon - JLD - KQ |
Lotus - MAN - Minardi - Mitie - O'Lauchlan - Pacchia - Phoenix - Rosenforth - SOTL - Tropico - Trueba - Virgin - West Cliff - ZimSport