Image caption: 20 years ago, the start of the 2003 F1 season in Australia.
Global Technologies Racing Ltd is celebrating 20 years of service to the Formula One (F1) car racing industry in May 2023. As a provider of bespoke, high performance composite design, development and manufacturing services, GTR Composites, a division of the Global Technologies Racing Group, has been continually relied upon by a significant selection of the world’s premier F1 racing teams and critical F1 suppliers.
GTR’s F1 business kicks into gear each year in December as the teams that engage their services reach the appropriate point in their new car design process and require composite components to be designed and manufactured. GTR then work closely and intensively with each client for a 4-month period to get everything in place for their “new car press launches”. This is then followed by the all-important first test sessions, and eventually to assemble on the grid, fully prepared for the first race in March, each year.
GTR is unable to name individual clients nor detail specific customer components. However, for example, the span of their contribution to F1 is broad and has, in the past, included: the manufacture of chassis’ at the larger end of the component scale; a wide range of safety critical components; and at the smaller end, the design and manufacture of complex and very precise assemblies, covering whatever the customers’ demands dictate. Over the 20-year period, GTR has worked with over 20 F1 teams and has achieved an annual turnover from F1 that amounts to £12M for the 2023 season, to date. At any one race, GTR has estimated the average total number of GTR manufactured components present on the starting grid to be up to 400. Working with multiple competing teams means GTR has had to develop and maintain the strictest confidentiality and security processes. To protect the competitive intellectual property, different build teams across the business are completely unaware of what may be going on in the building next door. This inbuilt discretion is something that is attractive to other sensitive sector, such as defence and security.
GTR’s established high-precision composite manufacturing capability is second to none. As well as being selected to manufacture critical components for F1, GTR has been sought out by companies ranging from the world’s most high technology supercar manufacturers to critical medical equipment manufacturers. The skills, quality and attention to detail embedded into GTR’s processes are more than a match for precision sectors such as aerospace and defence. With over 250 highly skilled staff on-site, GTR’s production facilities include x10 in-house autoclaves ranging in sizes up to 3m in diameter and 5.5m in length. This allows GTR to handle both micro components and larger vehicle sized assemblies such as the composite protected crew pods that GTR manufactured for the Foxhound armoured military vehicle programme.
Simon Kingdon-Butcher, Co-founder, Owner and Director at GTR said: “wow! 20 years of F1 business seems to have simply raced by (pardon the pun…). Seriously though, we’re very proud indeed to have achieved this major milestone and along the way, to have won and retained such prestigious customers as our F1 clients. We’ve continually developed our technology, practices and process over the years to keep us at the very front of development. Watching F1 races and knowing we’ve contributed to the ongoing success on a global stage is highly satisfying for all of us here at GTR”. He added: “but, whilst we pause to celebrate this important milestone, it’s not all about F1. We’ve gradually diversified to other sectors too where our skills developed in F1 are equally as applicable. Be it marine, aerospace, defence, automotive or medical, we can deliver the very best to meet the exacting standards of any client”.