World Endurance Championship
In 2016, Walero partner Gulf Racing UK took the step up they had been preparing for over the last two seasons and entered the FIA World Endurance Championship – nine races around the globe of fierce competition against the best endurance racing teams in the world.
The cornerstone event of this mighty challenge is the 24 hours of Le Mans – arguably the greatest motor race on the international calendar and one steeped in history for the iconic Gulf brand.
Along with Autosport performance, partners Position One Motorsport and Gulf Racing have been preparing for their assault on this epic race, bringing into the equation partners Walero and Boomerang Pro Fitness, to help in the lead-up.
“Position One has the facility to not only coach the driver in terms of his skill set behind the wheel, but also test, evaluate and ultimately improve the driver’s performance from a biomechanical perspective. With the ability to control the environmental variables inside the virtual cockpit, we can also perform some very well controlled analytical assessments on the driver’s equipment.” – Matt Beers, Technical Director at Position One.
It was with this in mind that Position One joined forces with Gulf Racing and their fireproof base-layer supplier, Walero, to evaluate relative performance and gather some useful data for both parties to better understand the endurance racing scenario and their part in it.
“The driver [FIA WEC driver Ben Barker] completed two 30-minute stints of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit on the Position One Motorsport motion simulator in full racing kit. The first stint was completed wearing the Walero base layers and the second stint was completed wearing alternative base layers. Resting heart rate and blood pressure were both recorded and the second stint could not begin until the driver had returned to these levels. The simulator was set at a controlled ambient temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. This temperature was chosen because it represents the upper limit of what cockpit temperature is permitted in the World Endurance Championship. Bodyweight (kg) was measured before and after stints on the simulator and water intake was controlled in order to carry out accurate sweat-testing procedures. Heart rate and core body temperature were then recorded every 60 seconds in real-time using the BioCOM physiological monitoring system during the 30-minute stints on the simulator.” – John Camilleri, Director & Owner at Boomerang Pro Fitness
Whilst only a small sample data set, the initial testing showed some interesting results, demonstrating a reduced sweat rate and correspondingly a reduced heart rate during the stint conducted in the Walero kit, suggesting more efficiency at maintaining a homeostatic balance and also giving the team an indication of Barker’s physiological (as well as on-track) performance under those specific conditions in real-time.
“What this shows is that with the correct facility, equipment and expertise, there is a huge amount we can do in preparing for this kind of racing activity, be that a controlled assessment of kit, or an environmental assessment and resultant preparation and training programme for a driver. Of course, all these elements are interlinked and we can use the simulator and other facilities for the mutual evaluations and then target specific development in each area.” – Matt Beers
Gulf Racing will travel to Le Mans in the knowledge they have made the right choice of partner in Walero Motorsport and Position One has helped them head to France for the race as well prepared as they can be.
Walero is proud to support all its partners in their upcoming race events and would like to wish all of them the best of luck in the season ahead!
Walero at Autosport International 2016.
Last weekend saw Walero make its second debut at Autosport International 2016, a fabulous start to the year for us and an unforgettable exhibition at the NEC Birmingham!
Like most exhibitors showcasing at ASI would say; the run-up to Autosport is a bit of a whirlwind! No sooner has it started then it ends, and you’re left looking back at what feels like a motorsports-shaped blur of events, having to compare notes with all those involved and fill in the missing snippets through social media spy work…
Our journey this year began in sunny Shelford, South Cambridge, on the cold, frosty evening of Wednesday 16th January. Managing Director, Fiona, and Marketing Director, Gem, prepped the van like pros – loading it with all things grey and yellow, the odd lifeless limb belonging to a dismembered mannequin and shedloads of shortbread (absolutely essential!) and off they went!
94 miles, one toilet stop and an entire Justin Bieber album later, they arrived. They were met by a scene familiar to many experienced Autosport show-goers: stands mid set-up, exhibitors slurping at take-away coffee cups, the hustle and bustle of pre-Autosport banter. It’s a much-anticipated event in motorsports, and the atmosphere holds its own from start to finish. With less than 12 hours before the doors opened to traders, Gem and Fi needed a hand unloading the van, and as the old adage goes; they got by with a little help from from their friends. A ma-hoosive thank you to Yvonne and Charles who did an absolutely incredible job with the stand. It looked epic, and credit goes to both of them for the time and effort they put into making it shine.
The first two days of ASI are trading days – a brilliant opportunity for young businesses such as ourselves to network, connect with prospective retailers, and reunite with contacts made at previous shows. We had a fab time catching up with friends from way-back-when, such as Calum Lockie and Mike Wilds; both Walero-wearing race drivers with a fantastic string of championship titles to their names.
A few other friendly faces to drop by our stand were international racing driver, Ben Barker, British racing driver, Lewis Plato, and Tom Cave; British rally driver – three handsome heartthrobs in the world of motorsports! Walero has had the pleasure of meeting a whole host of young drivers over the months, from rally to carting, and we are thrilled to have them rely on Walero temperature-regulating, antimicrobial base layers.
Of course, we would be remiss not to mention that while Autosport was in full swing, British rally driver and MINI brand ambassador, Harry Hunt, was completing the final stage of the Dakar Rally 2016 all the way in Argentina (needless to say; in weather a little warmer than the Birmingham climate!). We were over the moon to hear of Harry’s success; finishing 10th overall – an outstanding result for his first Dakar and a priceless experience to prepare him for next year’s race.
The final half of Autosport welcomed into its halls a wave of motorsports lovers, flooding the stands in their thousands. Never a dull moment, we met young and old alike, and were excited to introduce the newbies to a brand with big plans for 2016.
We are extremely proud of all the team here at Walero, and especially grateful for all those who helped make our second ASI such a success. A special thank-you goes out to Luca Diella and Josh Leak of 750 Motor Club, who helped us out during all four days of the convention, making sure all who visited the stand left with a smile on their face and a lolly in their hand!
Roll on Autosport International 2017!