The opportunities paired with our latest technological product developments are very exciting.
What was your background before joining Cosworth?
Before joining Cosworth, I studied a Bachelor of Science in Motorsport Engineering from IUPUI, which is a conglomerate university formed between Indiana and Purdue University in Indianapolis. During the time I was studying, it was the only university in the United States that was offering a motorsport degree.
I started my career in racing at Chastain Motorsports in 2013/14 as a data engineer. We ran several cars in the SCCA F1600 category. Towards the end of my tenure, the team stepped up and entered the F2000 series, which is a rival to the current USF2000 series. The F1600 is a formula car without wings, therefore all grip is generated mechanically. The F2000 that I ended up working on was very similar to the F1600, but more powerful, using a two-litre engine and featured an aero package.
I departed the team in early 2015 and became an intern at KV Racing Technology, which was one of the IndyCar teams of that era. I shadowed a couple of engineers in the damper department and then I started getting involved more with the design and development departments. The internship only lasted two or three months, as I was graduating that year in May.
As graduation loomed, I was motivated to find the next step in my career, as I was advised by the team there may not be an open position after Indy that year. I was advised by one of the data engineers at KV of an open position available at Cosworth, so I applied, and next thing you know, I’ve been here for over eight years.
What was your initial role when you joined Cosworth?
I started as an Applications Engineer, which is one of the entry positions in the US. The team consisted of myself and two other engineers, one based in Indianapolis with me, the other was based in North Carolina, and we mainly handled IndyCar. We did a bit of work with sports cars in IMSA and were also responsible for launching the newly revitalized Indy Lights series (now Indy NXT).
How did you progress into your current role and how much does it differ from what you were doing when you started?
There are a lot of similarities to what I used to do, even if my tenure has changed quite a bit over the years. The Applications Engineer role lasted for two years, and I was running the old Sigma electronics on the older generation IndyCar from 2012 – 2017. At the time, we also ran the telemetry system for IndyCar that was live on air, which ran from 2014 to 2021.
I moved up to Senior Applications Engineer after launching the Cadillac DPi program and won Daytona when I was embedded at Wayne Taylor Racing. It was thrilling to be part of a winning team and I stayed heavily involved with the team through Sebring, and we won there too. We parted ways after Sebring and I went back to doing what I was previously doing with IndyCar.
I was Senior Applications Engineer for about six months, then stepped into a role as Technical Manager. At that point, my roles really changed because I had to build my own Applications Team in preparation for the 2018 IndyCar electronics package. In 2017, we needed to complete all the development work on the new package including six months’ worth of training to get our brand-new Applications Team up to speed and up to date with all our products.
I was in that role for about five years in total, up until last year. With the recent leadership changes within Cosworth, I moved up again. I now manage all motorsport activity in the US, including both the technical support and commercial teams, as well as managing operations within our Indianapolis office.
What’s it like being on-track during race events, are you often approached by teams for assistance or advice?
It really depends from race to race. A quiet day in our world is a good day, which probably sounds very strange. When customers aren’t calling you, it usually means there are no major issues.
There are some teams that are very quiet and like to work behind closed doors, so we don’t hear from them very often. However, when we do hear from them, it’s normally something they’ve already put a lot of thought into, which means that we normally need to take this type of request away and take a deep dive into it before we can go back to them.
Then there are teams that might have an issue, or they want help with a strategy or some assistance with their steering wheels. These are the requests that we really relish. My team is very good at developing strategies and implementing them quickly.
What is next for Cosworth in the US?
We recently won the electronics tender to put next generation electronics into the Indy NXT series. We’re bringing in all of our Gen 3 products, which includes the Badenia chassis logger, the Centaurus power controller, and the SJU, (which is also found on the current IndyCar). The series is carrying over their current steering wheel for at least the next few years.
It’s an exciting period, right now we’re in the middle of designing all the wiring looms and getting everything built up, including the software. We’re trying to make it as smooth a transition as possible, as the series moves from the older electronics to the new package. Their current electronics will run until the end of this year. These were first introduced in 2015, so they’ve been running for almost a decade.
This transition was initially hampered by COVID, which triggered supply chain issues, which is why NXT is only making the move to a new electronics package now. We worked together with the series to come up with the best solution around the challenges that we faced with the pandemic. We’re confident that the new package should provide the series with exactly what they need to run cars in 2024. They will soon be a running prototype and then it goes racing full time next year.
The other major development for us is our involvement with NASCAR. It has greatly accelerated in the last 18 months. General Motors has mandated that all of its NASCAR test teams have to use Cosworth electronics. Currently we have multiple products in use. It’s a mix between the CLU and the Badenia for logging and then their choice of dashboard is between the CDU 7 or CDU 10.3. The SJU is also being used on those cars.
We are also in talks with another NASCAR OEM, if that goes to plan, then we’ll have two out of the three big names in the books.
NASCAR in general is our next beast to tame. If involvement in that series continues to increase like it has over the last year, then there is an opportunity to open a subsidiary office in Charlotte, which will work in tandem with our Indianapolis office to support the growth we’re seeing in the US. The opportunities paired with our latest technological product developments are very exciting.