Pemberton Prospec Racing or Prospec is a British racing team, one of the most successful in F1RWRS history. The team won the first two F1RWRS Constructors' Championships as well as a Drivers' Championship with Nathanael Spencer in 2011. The team was subject to a takeover in late 2013 by a consortium of businessmen from north-east England known as the Pemberton Group, headed by driver Gary Cameron. Prospec has been competing in the F1RWRS since its inception in 2010, and in 2014 formed a junior team which currently competes in the F3RWRS.
Formation and pre-F1RWRS Era
Prospec was founded in 2006 by a group of wealthy British privateers who wanted to start racing, though the team's base was an industrial shed unit, close to Brands Hatch in the village of West Kingsdown. The base is still in existence to this day, albeit expanded. Starting off in fairly minor series, amongst their early successes Prospec won the Class B 4WD Track Challenge multiple times, and enjoyed strong results in the US Dodge Oval Tour. Whilst Prospec were regularly a competitive team in almost every series they entered, the majority of their success came in GT and oval racing, whilst their touring car and off-road achievements were more modest. Following these successes, the team decided to make the step up into the big time when the Formula 1 Rejects World Race Series was formed.
2010 F1RWRS Season
Entering as one of the ten founding teams of the F1RWRS in 2010, Prospec were quick to hire two drivers, Hungarian David Koczo and Englishman Nathanael Spencer. The team's first chassis for the series, named PRS 261, looked promising, and Prospec took the bold decision of designing and building their engines themselves whilst other teams sought customer deals with major manufacturers. With everything done in-house, Prospec looked like one of the teams to beat, particularly after setting the pace during pre-season testing.
This was then confirmed at the first race of the year at Hockenheim, where Koczo scored the team's first podium, finishing second to Ashley Watkinson. Spencer then took Prospec's first pole at Shanghai, and Koczo would win the team's first two races, at Adelaide and Bahrain, the latter from pole. Spencer then won the penultimate round of the year at Silverstone, whilst taking fastest lap, with Koczo on the podium too in third. Along with numerous other points finishes throughout the year, whilst neither driver was consistent enough for the Drivers' Championship, the combined total brought Prospec the inaugural F1RWRS Constructors' Championship title.
2011 F1RWRS Season
The 2011 season proved to be Prospec's most successful one. Spencer and Koczo stayed with the team, and along with a new chassis and engine, Spencer made amends for 2010 by clinching his first Drivers' Championship, with the team securing back-to-back Constructors' Championships. This time round Spencer won two races, at Hockenheim and Oschersleben, to Koczo's one in China, and a strong run of podiums towards the end of the year allowed Spencer to hold off Daniel Melrose for the title. Relations between Koczo and the team became strained however after the Hungarian failed to pass pre-qualifying twice in a row at the Australian and New South Wales GPs. Seeking a more consistently-performing car, Koczo left Prospec for Team Calinetic, unfortunately just as the Jamaican team began its demise.
2012 F1RWRS Season
Despite being the reigning double Constructors' Champions, Prospec were unable to find a suitable driver to fill the seat vacated by Koczo's departure to Calinetic. This led to the unusual situation of the champion team running only a single car at the start of the 2012 season. Despite that, the team's success attracted new sponsors, including battery manufacturer Duracell, and an exclusive deal with EBC Brakes. Another new in-house V8 engine was produced to power the exciting new PRS 281 chassis which looked very different to its predecessor, and as a single car team, Prospec looked set to go.
The one driver really hindered the team though, and despite Spencer winning the race at Hockenheim for the second year in a row, it was his only finish before Prospec were able to hire a second driver. Aside from that victory, Spencer had failed to pre-qualify three times, and retired from the other two of the first six races. It simply wasn't good enough for the reigning champions. In an attempt to rectify the situation they were able to acquire the services of 2010 champion Gary Cameron who ironically came from Calinetic, where he'd been teammate to David Koczo. Having already signed a contract to join Prospec for 2013, he made the move six months early, joining the team in time for the British Grand Prix, scoring a single point on his debut.
Over the rest of the year Spencer managed a further two podiums at Snetterton and Shanghai, whilst Cameron won his first race for the team at the Surfers SuperPrix. It wasn't enough however to prevent the team's slide down the order, and Prospec finished in 7th place overall at the end of the year. Predicting that the downward trend would continue, Spencer left the team and signed for MRT, saying that Prospec would be nowhere in 2013. It was an unhappy end to a relationship that had lasted for three years between driver and team.
2013 F1RWRS Season
Hoping that the wide-ranging rule changes that took effect for the 2013 season would allow the team to recover its position at the top of the standings, Prospec signed experienced Australian Dave Simpson to replace Spencer whilst Cameron, contracted to the team, remained. They also made the drastic choice to ditch their own engines for a supply of Lamborghini units which were hoped to be more powerful, but Spencer's dark prediction came true. Whilst the Lamborghini engines were arguably the most reliable on the grid, they lacked the overall pace needed to capitalise on it, and so a podium for Simpson at Bathurst was the team's only highlight in a poor year. Cameron could only score once all season, a fifth place in France, whilst neither driver could manage anything at all during the second half of the year, the low point coming when both failed to qualify at Estoril.
It was by far the worst year of Prospec's existence, and the future of one of the last remaining founding teams looked uncertain. At the end of the 2013 season Team Calinetic had closed down whilst CR Motorsport had been purchased and taken over, leaving just Prospec and Kamaha Motorsports as the final two original teams left. Fortunately however, Prospec's future was secured when the team was bought by the Pemberton Group, led by Cameron. Other than installing Cameron as team principal, the consortium kept the structure of the team constant but lengthened its name to Pemberton Prospec Racing. After a testing year, things finally looked more positive going into 2014.
2014 F1RWRS Season
Both Simpson and Cameron remained for 2014, along with the Lamborghini engines, whilst a new chassis, the PRS 301 was drawn up. Reliability again proved good, and despite top ten finishes, Dave Simpson stood aside after the Brazilian GP to allow a pay-driver to come in and raise some much needed funds for the team. In his place, Swiss driver Jean-Luc Schiller was signed, but it wasn't enough to prevent the team from achieving a double DNPQ at Mexico, the first in Prospec's history.
This set the tone for the rest of the year, as Prospec continued its downward trend, stuck in pre-qualifying. On the rare occasions when they made the grid, the car's pace was often too slow to finish in the points, although Schiller managed to score a popular 6th place at Monza. This was vital for Prospec's 2015 fortunes as the rebuilding process under the Pemberton Group would properly start to take hold. In a further demonstration of his committal to running the team, Gary Cameron retired from driving altogether following the North Sea Grand Prix to concentrate on managing the team, and in his place Chinese female Du Lei was signed for the final three races of the year. It was the end of an era for Prospec, with two inexperienced drivers now in the cars, but with the announcement that Kay Lon had been hired for 2015, the blow of loosing Cameron was lessened somewhat.
When F3RWRS was launched, Prospec were immediately keen to sign up for the new series, opting for the Dallara chassis and signing Michael Cameron, brother of team principal Gary, and Japanese starlet Tomo Kazama. The season began extremely well for the team, with Cameron taking its first ever pole position, race victory and round win. The season continued in this vein, with the team consistently among the frontrunners and competing for both championships. Despite competition from Jones Racing and Terry Hawkin, among others, Prospec secured both the teams' championship and the drivers' for Kazama at the season-ending Surfers SuperPrix.
Complete F1RWRS Results
|2010||Prospec PRS 261||Prospec PT-2010 V8||GER||LUX||SAX||CHN||TAS||BHR||BEL||GBR||AUS||95||1st|
|2011||Prospec PRS 271||Prospec PT-2011 V8||BAV||GER||SAX||LUX||BEL||GBR||ENG||KEN||NED||TAS||AUS||NSW||SUR||CHN||USA||117||1st|
|2012||Prospec PRS 281||Prospec PT-2012 V8||BAV||SAX||GER||LUX||BEL||NED||GBR||KEN||ENG||TAS||SUR||NSW||AUS||CHN||USA||500||64||7th|
|2013||Prospec PRS 291||Lamborghini 3512||TAS||AUS||MEX||USA||MON||FRA||GBR||GER||NED||BEL||POR||MED||MAC||CHN||JPN||BRA||12||9th|
|2014||Prospec PRS 301||Lamborghini 3512||TAS||AUS||BRA||MEX||USA||MON||FRA||GBR||GER||BEL||ITA||MED||NED||MAC||CHN||JPN||1||=13th|
|2015||Prospec PPR 02||Peugeot A7||TAS||AUS||MED||MON||MEX||USA||CAN||GBR||GER||BEL||AUT||ITA||NED||CHN||JPN||BRA||2*||12th*|
Complete F3RWRS Results
- * Season in progress
- † Driver did not finish the Grand Prix, but was classified as they completed over 90% of the race distance.
|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