A lot of turmoil in a short time for Hilmer Motorsport
Hilmer Motorsport is the racing team from Germany, established in 2013 by Franz Hilmer. The headquarters is based in the village of Niederwinkling in Bavaria.
Good start in the GP2 Series
The team began its life competing in the GP2 Series in 2013. Hilmer Motorsport fielded two Dallara-Mecachrome cars in the first year and no less than five drivers had an opportunity to test their skills in the series which is considered as the best springboard to Formula 1.
The start was pretty good after Robin Frijns was brilliant during the third round of the season in Spain. Dutch driver won the feature race at Catalunya Circuit and finished 2nd in the sprint race, while Jon Lancaster was 3rd in the feature race. Lancaster’s fine form continued at Silverstone where he won the sprint race, while in the following round at Nurburgring, the British driver again was the winner of the sprint race.
In the second half of the year, another British driver led the team to its best result in the series. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs finished 3rd in the sprint race at Spa and later won the sprint race at Monza. Hilmer Motorsport finished 6th in the Teams championship that year with four race wins and seven podium finishes, which was a good result for the newcomers.
Hilmer Motorsport became Force India’s official team
Thanks to the good connections of Franz Hilmer, Hilmer Motorsport was promoted to the official GP2 Series team of Force India F1 team in 2014. Hilmer’s company Formtech was a supplier to Sahara Force India for ten years, so the cooperation of the two sides proceeded on a sporting level.
With new colors and bigger ambitions, Hilmer Motorsport struggled a lot during 2014 and failed to repeat the results from the previous campaign. Daniel Abt was the team’s leading driver but his best result was 5th place in the races in Hungary and Belgium. Jon Lancaster also underachieved and scored only once, finishing 5th in Germany. The other two drivers, Facu Regalia and Nicholas Latifi, ended the season without points on their accounts.
With just 33 points, Hilmer Motorsport dropped to the 12th place in the GP2 Series Teams’ championship.
One year in GP3 Series
In March of 2014, Hilmer Motorsport announced the expansion of its program and the entry in the GP3 Series with three cars, running under the Force India banner. The main ambition was promoting of young drivers and helping them pick up some experience before stepping up in higher motorsport categories.
That’s why it wasn’t surprising that the results were relatively poor. Riccardo Agostini was the only of six Hilmer Motorsport’s pilots who was able to score points. The young Italian finished 16th in the Drivers’ championship, while the team ended the campaign at the penultimate position. That was the only season in the GP3 Series for the Niederwinkling-based squad which focused solely on GP2 in 2015.
The season of 2015 was poor for Hilmer Motorsport
The new season in GP2 Series was an opportunity for the Hilmer Motorsport’s new group of talented drivers. Initially, Nick Yelloly and Johnny Cecotto Jr were planned to be the main drivers, but the team made many changes during the year marked by many difficulties.
Hilmer Motorsport missed the opening round in Bahrain. In the following rounds, Yelloly was the only one able to pick some points. From the round in Belgium, the team was able to run only one car and finally retired from the series, three rounds before the end of the season. Obviously, Hilmer Motorsport was at the bottom of the standings that year.
Ready for the return
After missing the 2016 season, Hilmer Motorsport prepares a comeback in 2017. With a new structure in the organization and management departments, the Germans are prepared for the new tasks and goals. The team knows the GP2 Series environment which should make the duties off the track easier, but the new drivers will need some time to settle. The 2015 deal with the renowned RAVENOL ought to give the team a formidable push in the GP2 series, and it’s weight is acknowledged by Franz Hilmer himself.
“We want to return to the podium as quickly as possible. Talks with drivers who are keen on winning and who want to succeed together with us have begun. We created a clear hierarchy, we realigned the structure and thus continuously improved ourselves. Hilmer Motorsport is a team with Bavarian roots, which is now expanded by the rich motorsport tradition of the Sachsenring circuit. But in the end, we are primarily a German team, who is taking up the challenge of GP2 and therefore lines up internationally, both in terms of our staff as well as for partners and investors,” says Franz Hilmer, Team Principal and Managing Director who will lead the team together with a new shareholder and experienced businessman Maik Schiede.