Caterham Group technical officer Mike Gascoyne is utilising his Formula 1 engineering knowledge to enter the world of ocean racing.
The 50-year-old, who has worked for McLaren, Jordan and Renault, has already completed a solo transatlantic trip from Cascais to Grenada last year and now plans to increase his involvement on the water.
Together with record-breaking round the world yachtsman Brian Thompson, Gascoyne plans to use F1 technology and logistics to encourage a greener and more sustainable future for offshore racing.
Using the Technology & Innovation and Composites arms of the Caterham Group, Gascoyne and Thompson plan a two-year Caterham Challenge campaign, starting with the Transat Jacques Vabre race from France to Brazil in November this year.
The duo will then target the Caribbean 600 in early 2014 and the Global Ocean Race, which leaves from the Southampton Boatshow in September 2014 around the world.
Initally, Gascoyne plans to co-skipper the programme alongside Thompson. Through his company MGI, Gascoyne is building an Akilara RC3 Class40 which is due to be launched in early August. Sailing and training takes place in The Solent and the English Channel.
“With the announcement of the ‘Caterham Challenge’ project I will be able to use my experience of the past 25 years in Formula 1 and transfer it to my passion, short handed sailing,” said Gascoyne.
“There are lots of similarities between high performance engineering, project management in F1 and competitive yacht racing. Caterham Composites and Caterham Technology already work in vehicle simulation, with the aim of introducing those models to the marine industry as well as high performance carbon fiber application in the yachting industry.
“With Brian on board we have the perfect package to combine many years of experience in both competitive sailing and motorsport engineering; run global sailing projects, from developing young talent to managing fully fledged sailing teams in major racing series.”
Thompson added: “It’s clear with the backup we have from the Caterham Group that our sailing objectives reach far and wide, to the Open 60 class and beyond. This is a truly inspirational and innovative program to be involved with, and I am sure the coming weeks and months will prove to be ground breaking.”