Russian Time - The team with no time to waste
The Russian Time is the first racing team from Russia which became a participant in the FIA Formula Two Championship.
Winning the GP2 Series title from the first attempt
The team was founded in 2013 by Igor Mazepa, former racing driver and manager, and Motopark Academy team Principal Timo Rumpfkeil who was responsible for the team’s operations. The team’s headquarters is Norwich, England, and since the first day Russian Time is one of the striking forces in the series which is probably the best springboard for the drivers who want to race in the Formula One.
In its first year Russian Time won the Teams’ Championship in the GP2 Series. Sam Bird and Tom Dillmann were the drivers in 2013 and they did an excellent job, especially the English pilot who scored five wins and finished the season as a runner-up with 181. Dillmann had 92 points on his account but just two podium finishes. However, the team amassed a total of 273 points, the same number as Carlin, but Russian Time topped the standings thanks to the more wins.
Complete staff change after the first year
After a complete staff change in 2014, Russian Time was prepared to defend its GP2 Series title. The team now was run by iSport International and Svetlana Strelnikova as the Team Manager, while the drivers were Mitch Evans and Artem Markelov. However, the results weren’t as good and Evans scored two race wins before finishing 4th in the standings. The Russian driver in his rookie season struggled a lot and picked just 6 points, so the team finished 5th in the standings.
Team again shuffled its staff in 2015
Since 2015 Russian time is run by Virtuosi Racing, with Andy Roche as the Team Manager. The team organization was shuffled but the driver line-up remained unchanged what was the first time since 2009 that one team kept the same line-up. Evans again was the one who scored better results and the New Zealander for the second year in a row scored two wins before finishing 5th overall. On the other side, Markelov improved and progressed to the 13th position in the standings. However, that wasn’t enough for making a step forward in the Teams’ Championship and Russian Time again finished 5th in the Championship.
The season of 2016 was quite unusual. Markelov stayed with Russian Time for the third year and was teamed with Raffaele Marciello. Markelov scored the only win for the team but the Italian driver was the one who was better at the end of the season. Marciello finished 4th in the standings while the Russian driver took the 10th position. Despite the relatively poor season, Russian Time moved up to the 3rd place in the Teams’ Championship.
The future of the team looks bright in the Formula 2
In 2017 the GP2 Series was renamed to the FIA Formula Two Championship. In its fifth season in the series, Russian Time is one of the title contenders. Markelov, as probably the most experienced driver in the series, is teamed with the talented Italian Luca Ghiotto and they had the fine start of the campaign, so the team tops the standings before the fourth round of the championship.
Undoubtedly, the progress of Russian Time team also perfectly reflects the rise of the Russian motorsport at both on and off the track.