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MR2226 Competition Team Operations - University of Central Lancashire

FdSc Motorsport Management and Logistics

Assignment Title - Team testing operational manual

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LEARNING OUTCOMES

1. Plan and demonstrate the operations of a competition team.
2. Apply business management tools & techniques to resolve with Day-to-Day Operational issues.
3. Plan for, and comply with, industry & legal compliance regulations.
4. Evaluate and assess team and car performance.
5. Asses drivers role as a professional sportsperson

COMPETITION TEAM OPERATIONS

Executive summary

In this study, the intricacies of Motorsport business have been analysed. The study has discussed management structure of a Motorsport organisation. It has discussed the functional department and their responsibilities. Additionally, the testing procedures have been tested as well. There is also equipment, budgets and sponsorship that has been also analysed in this. In addition to this, there is also management strategies and recommendations that are suggested for future growth and development of this organisation.

You should choose a hypothetical professional motorsport business of your own. The professional business will be full time employed in competition at a national or international level, e.g. British Touring Car Championship, World Rally Championship, British Rally Championship, British GT, FIA GT or European Le Mans.

Introduction

Motorsport is a rising industry due to the fact that young generations are very into adventure sports and rides. Therefore companies offering unique sports vehicles like motorbike, mountain bike, jet skis are rising in the industry. Sports vehicles like these require manual testing to ensure that the safety elements are followed. Each functional team is assigned with very vast duties to ensure that vehicles are safe and secure for customers. In this study testing and operations of the teams of a Motorsport, company has been discussed. The business management tools and techniques have analysed as well in this study. The company is a newly launched motorsport company that is preparing for future championship. The name of the organisation is SWIFT Motorsport. The manual of testing has been made for this particular organisation based on UK.

You will produce a detailed testing operations manual covering the entire duration of testing from initial planning, through the actual test to post-test evaluation.

1. Plan and demonstrate the operations of a competition team

Testing operations of Motorsport Company

Motorsport vehicles like sports cars and jet skis require rigorous testing to ensure that the vehicles are safe and secure for the customers. Particularly if the sports vehicles are going to participate in a big championship like British GT or World Rally Championship then it will require going through drastic testing to ensure that vehicles have all the safety measures incorporated. As per the opinion of Yildirim-Yenieret al. (2016), this safety measures are also part of legal compliances of motorsport vehicles. Following are some of key aspects of testing motorsport vehicles which is mentioned in the manual provided by this company.

Entire duration of Testing
Before the racing season and championship starts SWIFT initiates their testing. Particularly for cars, the testing begins ten days prior to the approved sites. Particular championship like FIA and British GT has approved sites where the vehicles are tested. Within these ten days testing period each designated teams will test the conditions of the car from inside out. The safety measures will be tested(Jovanovicet al. 2015).

Initial planning stage
There are various types of testing such as track testing, straight line or constant radius testing. Additionally SWIFT also does "Wind Tunnel Testing" of the cars. There is also tyre testing which is crucial for ensuring safety of the cars and the driver as well. The testing also conducted as per the circuits associated with the testing. As mentioned by Mohrfeld-Halterman and Uddin (2016), Depending on the testing circuits SWIFT motorsport will test their vehicles and strategise their game plan.

Pre-season testing:
Pre-season testing is important and it always happens in FIA approved sites. The duration of this pre-season testing is short. It takes place from mid-February to March. The duration is no longer than 4 days.

Mid-season testing:
Midseason testing initiated from 2014, which is again a short duration testing for ensuring the safety measures. Four sets of two days testing are arranged, which requires to be approved by FIA.

Tyre Testing:
Tyre testing is significant for the safety of the motorsport vehicles as well as the drivers as well. There are two things that SWIFT tests in their tyre testing are "High-Speed Testing" and "Thermal Testing". World's leading motorsport company relay on particular facility dedicated to testing tyres of vehicles (Anderson and Ayalew, 2017). These places are appropriate for testing new and innovative tyre designs and safety. Additionally SWIFT Motorsport tests the Lam Stimulations, which also determine the capability of the tyres.

Actual test
As commented by Mourão (2017), actual test refers to the final test determines the position of the vehicle in the championship. All the data that is collected from the track testing SWIFT will utilise them to strategise their plan and manage the different teams. This will increase the performance of the sports vehicle on a race circuit. Additionally, there is also feedback and telemetry data that will be utilised as well in the actual test to enhance the performance of the vehicles. As mentioned by Parton et al. (2015), particularly in the final test results of transmission test system are incorporated, which is a high-performance rig provides simulation of different road conditions. Data like these are crucial for improvising the features for the actual test. Additionally, before the final test, SWIFT has ensured that all the cars are fitted to the standard tests as well.

Post Test Evaluation
After all of these tests are done the results are again collected by the teams to analyse them and improve the features further. Post-test, SWIFT is able to understand the capability of the vehicles. Speed test is crucial as well as safety measures. Designated vehicles not able to meet the criteria related to body torsion experienced and the dynamics of the vehicle as well. Additionally SWIFT also analyses the data to ensure that the team of designers can understand the Aero and G-loading effects on the performance and improve the features. There are five major parameters that the post-test evaluation is done. The five parameters are products development, vehicle valuation, performance testing, driving dynamics and finally comparison of competitors.

The manual will encompass the entire scope of testing operations including a summary of the team in terms of: management structure, roles and responsibilities, championships/events contested, car(s) used, procedures, choice of equipment, involvement and management of sponsors and an outline budget.

The manual should include management strategies for unplanned changes and issues arising during vehicle testing such as accidents, failure of components or vehicle performance targets.

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2. Apply business management tools & techniques to resolve with day to day operational issues.

Management structure
Management structure is very simple and very much like typical motor vehicle companies; however, due to higher risk and popularity, there are additional departments in this company. Following are the management structure that is followed by SWIFT for increasing performance and productivity. Each team has different roles and responsibility.

Racing team Managers:
Racing team managers are responsible for ensuring that teams that are selected have all the necessary components from engineers to drivers. Racing team manager employs all the necessary employees for racing.

Roles and responsibilities
One of the chief responsibilities of this team of SWIFT Motorsports is to manage the teams that are going to participate in championships and rallies. As per the view of Jovanovicet al. (2015), they also ensure that the legal compliances and necessary safety measures are being followed by the organisation. They also finalise the appropriate vehicles for each championship as well.

Commercial directors:
According to Sargentiet al. (2018), Commercial directors manage the commercial aspects of the business. There are commercial directors are also responsible for the financial investments which are very significant for SWIFT Motorsports. It is always a privilege when the name of the brand is displayed on the events like World Championships. It increases brand image and awareness and also increases investors as well. Teams working under the commercial directors are responsible for marketing of the brand. Financial departments are also working in accordance with the Commercial directors.

Roles and responsibilities
Commercial directors of the company gather sponsorship and deals. They also seal the deal with other Motorsport company if there is collaboration. The sponsor pays for the brand's expenses. There is also marketing campaigns that are run under the supervision of the company.

Technical directors:
Technical directors are essential part of the SWIFT Motorsports. Under the supervision of the technical directors the engineers, designers and R&D scientists work consistently. Technical directors are responsible for the manufacturing and designing of the cars participating in the championship (Abdel-Rahman et al. 2016).

Roles and responsibilities
Technical directors are organised team that supervises the engineers, mechanics and drivers for ensuring that the resources are utilised adequately. This team is also involved in research and development to produce vehicles that are innovative and upgraded and fit for participating in championships.

Chief Aerodynamicist:
This team of aerodynamicist ensures that car designs are made to reduce the air resistance yet creates right amount of down force. They are also part of technical team of SWIFT.

Chief designers:
Designers are responsible for designing the basic layout of the car. They design the cars which help the engineers to build the vehicles adequately.

Chief Engineers:
Engineers are responsible for putting the final pieces of the vehicles. Other than the set up they also check safety measures as well.

Chief of R&D:
R&D teams help SWIFT Motorsports to come up with automotive-innovation projects. These innovation projects are made to upgrade and explore new possibilities in Motorsports.

Drivers:
Drivers lastly are a huge a part of SWIFT Motorsports. Drivers are required to train adequately for the championships and coaching is very important as well.

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Championship events contested
There are a lot of championship events that are contested by SWIFT Motorsports. They have participated in British GT, FIA GT, and British Rally Championship. They have created a positive image on these contest and left their mark a well. However, they have not succeeded in winning the title of the championship yet.

Cars Used
SWIFT Motorsport is developing their motorsport vehicles; however, it is not yet a finished product. Therefore in the events, they have contested they have used cars of other manufacturers such as Porche, Mercedes and BMW. Some of the models that are used by SWIFT Motorsport in the various championship contests are BMW M2, BMW M5, Mercedes-AMG GT R, PorchePanamera GTS and BMW i8. All of these cars have great safety features which are the chief of the brand.

Procedures
Motorsport UK has outlined all the necessary safety measures that are required to be undertaken by any Motorsports company. SWIFT Motorsports is also required to fulfil all of these criteria in order to participate in championships in UK. Specialist committees under Motorsport Council have certain regulations that are required to be followed. According to Chindamo et al. (2017), depending on the type of motorsport the organisation is competing; licence is required. Particularly for racing, rallying and karting competition licence is required. SWIFT Motorsports also had to gain this competition licence for competing in the world championship rallies. Additionally, there is sporting and technical regulations that are followed by SWIFT Motorsports.

Sponsors and budget
The reach of motorsports industry is increasing, therefore, increasing amount of events are being organised. As per the view of Chindamo et al. (2018), this is the reason big corporationsare showing increasing interest in motorsport events and sponsoring them. SWIFT has been sponsored by car servicing companies and fuel companies which have been their primary source of income. Sponsors have invested about 10 Million Dollars yearly which has made contribution to the budget of the company.

Management strategies
• In order to reduce safety issues, the SWIFT Motorsports can increase their testing time and also dedicate a team particularly for testing the safety measures of the Motorsport vehicles.
• SWIFT Motorsport has to also increase their investment in training and coaching their drivers. As per the view of Couto et al. (2017), this will help the drivers manage the vehicles better and utilise the facilities of these supercars to the best of capabilities.
• In addition to this SWIFT Motorsport also have to increase their manpower for heading the engineering teams. It will help them prepare for unplanned changes. For instance, if the Car selected for championship is not up to the mark with other competitors, they can employ their engineering team to tweak with the vehicle and increase its potential with additional features (Stelzenbach and Valderrabano, 2017).

Conclusion
Motorsport is a rising industry and the growing popularity of these sports has increased the number of investors in this industry. There is a lot of opportunity in this industry in this market both in terms of technological and financial growth. SWIFT Motorsport a rising motorsport company has been chosen in this study to discuss the management structure of Motorsport Company. In order to increase the cohesive understanding of motorsport business, operational functions have been discussed. The study has analysed each functional teams and their responsibilities as well in the success of the organisation.
• First recommendations for SWIFT Motorsports Company would be regarding developing and manufacturing their own vehicles. It would ensure that the vehicles that are participating in their team have all the necessary features that they require for success.
• Another recommendation would be regarding increasing the R&D team to increase innovative projects. Innovation in the motorsport would allow the company to grab more investors and bigger financial support for the company.
• Increased marketing efforts would be also important for SWIFT Motorsport Company, which would also increase the organisations brand image. Increase brand image would increase their popularity in motorsport industry and their market share would increase.

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