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Faster Than Speed turns 10!

Discussion in 'Formula SimRacing' started by Christian Smirnoff, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. Faster Than Speed turns 10!

    A day like today, 10 years ago... on March 4th, 2001, Faster Than Speed made its debut, on the World Championship's inaugural race at Melbourne, Australia!

    The dream of a professional simracing league, called GP3 Global League back then, that FTS founder Alex Cosentino had among others, was now a reality.

    In that first World Championship race, won by Ernesto De Angelis with Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix 3 simulation, Gjermund Higraff and Alan Bryson were the drivers that gave the panther cars its first outing. It was a successful one, with both drivers bringing the cars in the points, in 6th and 10th places respectively. Of the 11 teams that participated in that race, Faster Than Speed is the only one that remains active in FSR today. In the World Series, Horacio Romo won the team's first race in the Pro 50 division that same day, later taking the division's championship. A few months later, the team scored its first WC podium at Magny Cours.

    But that first Australian race wasn't the team's GP3GL debut, as "Chueco's Racing", with its name in tribute to Juan Manuel Fangio, had participated the previous year, founded by Argentinians Alex Cosentino and Fernando Piedrabuena.

    In 2003, Australian Gabriel Garivaldis was appointed as Team Manager. That year, the team raced under a different name: Flying Colours International. Despite the name change, the team's distinct panther symbol remained intact. 2003 was also the year that the team featured its clear "No War" message on their cars for the first time, something that continues to date. The team name change was short lived, however, as the team went back to its usual Faster Than Speed name for the 2004 season.

    2005 was a very special season for FTS, as the team won its first online championship, securing the World Series Ace Constructors Championship, while Christian Smirnoff joined the team's management.
    The following year, the team doubled its success, with Faisal Niazi claiming the World Series Pro Drivers Championship, while Christian Smirnoff also took the World Series Ace Drivers Championship home.

    2007 was a breakthrough year for FTS, as the team took 4th place in the World Championship's Constructors Championship, its best result in FSR's top division to date. That season was full of unforgettable moments, like the maiden WC Pole Position or, most especially, the team's first World Championship victory at Turkey, courtesy of Patrick De Wit.

    In 2008, the team had another very special season, securing its first title double. Florian Pechon drove a fantastic season to win the World Series Advanced Drivers Championship, while FTS also took the Constructors Championship trophy home in that same division. In 2009, Faster Than Speed teamed up with one of the most successful FSR teams, NetRex GP, the striking panther-dinousaur mix giving birth to FTS NetRex.

    Throughout Faster Than Speed's 10 FSR seasons to date, over 80 drivers sat inside an FTS cockpit. Together, they have achieved 5 World Series championships, over 35 race victories and well over a hundred podium finishes. However, the most important thing is the team's spirit. Over the years, FTS has become a family, a group of friends that not only competes at the highest level, but also has fun and enjoys together.

    A look back...

    The Cars: From the early days, the agressive-looking FTS cars were always among the best designs in the field, featuring its striking panthers over black and red colors, with a yellow tint becoming more prominent in recent years. Wonderful designers such as Ernesto De Angelis, Ireneusz Ciaglo and Ant Carlos have created these masterpieces:

    Visit the FTS Garage

    The Drivers: Beatiful cars don't drive on their own, do they? As every driver that drove for our team is very important for us, we created the Historic Driver's Index, where you will find an alphabetical list of drivers that have raced for FTS since the team's beginnings with their statistics! All WC results to date and WS/WT results from 2005 onwards can also be found in our Results & Statistics section.

    Visit the FTS Historic Driver's Index

    The Team Launches: Each year, one of the most awaited moments is the launch of the new campaign, presenting Faster Than Speed's cars and lineups for the season. Team launches usually consisted of articles, pictures, renders, but in a few occassions, the team made full video launches. For such a nostalgic day, we brought them all, even old ones that very few will remember! Here they are:

    (FTS-P10 Presentation)
    (FTS-P9 Presentation)
    2003 FCI Team Launch (FCI-2003A Presentation)

    A look ahead...

    The 2011 season is approaching. Faster Than Speed will contest its 11th FSR season this year. Please stay tuned for our 2011 team launch, with the presentation of our FTS-P11 challenger! Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for the lastest news!

    Happy birthday FSR World Championship! Happy birthday Faster Than Speed!

    Team Quotes

    Alex Cosentino (Team Founder/Owner): " When Christian approached me asking for a short statement about the 10 years of Faster Than Speed, a lot of memories rushed to my head and I couldn’t believe it’s been already 10 years since the creation of the team. I remembered me struggling with GP2 and later GP3, I remembered the day I met Kurt Baumann and let him convince me to jump on board of what it looked like a crazy project and ended up being an amazing reality called FSR. I remembered the endless discussions between team owners, how we created the Team Owners Association, and all the people who made FTS possible, to that summer evening when I came up with the name Faster Than Speed (one day, in my memories, I will tell how I came up with that and you are going to laugh!). I can’t start naming all the great friends who were involved in this project. But I will thank Gabriel and Christian for the amazing work they put together. Today, they are the heart and soul of the team, and I think nobody could choose any other two better guys to run a team. I really, really thank you both, guys."

    Gabriel Garivaldis (Team Owner): " Reaching 10 years is an incredible achievement, and I don't believe there's many other teams who have managed to stay intact for so long. Personally I'll never forget some great memories, some really great races and fun times. Most notable for me is my first podium at Hockenheim in WC 2003, Christian's championship win in WS Ace in 2006, and the team's first victory in WC by Patrick in 2007. There are many more good memories too. I'd also like to thank all the drivers, managers, test drivers, designers and other team members, current and old, for their support, friendship and commitment. Special thanks to Christian Smirnoff for sustaining the team for such a long time, and to Alex Cosentino who gave me my first real break back in 2002. And let's keep it up, the panther lives on!"

    Christian Smirnoff (Team Owner/Manager, 2006 WS Ace Champion): "10 years... it's really unbeleivable. I have been part of it for the last seven and a half, and it still is an amazing experience. There are many unforgettable memories, not only due to on-track success but also a lot of fun, passion and friendship shared together.
    As for my 2006 WS Ace championship, I had just missed out to Denis Kiriakopoulos after leading for most of the season in 2005, when we won the Constructors'. That was an inmense satisfaction, but I still wanted another shot at the Drivers' title, and I definitely got that chance the following year. It's still a very special memory. It wouldn't have been possible without the fantastic support from the team, however!
    I'd like to thank everyone who is or was part of this team for making it what it is! Special thanks to Gabriel Garivaldis and Alex Cosentino for their support and trust. Happy birthday FTS!"

    Florian Pechon (2008 WS Advanced Champion): "Faster Than Speed has been for me the best experience I have ever had in my simracing carreer. The team's spirit is great and that's what is should be all about in simracing! I am very proud to have been champion alongside them. I remember, all the team was motivating me to win the races and win the title and surely that helped a lot. I cross my fingers for this season!"
  2. Sami Pesari

    Sami Pesari
    Premium Member

    Happy Birthday indeed good to see that at least 1 of the first teams ever is still running high, all i can say is good luck guys and looking forward to launch video
  3. Nice article to read :).

    Best of luck this year!
  4. Congrats guys and keep it going! ;)

    One of the nicest teams in FSR for sure.
  5. congrats guys
  6. David Armstrong

    David Armstrong
    Premium Member

    Great article! Congratulations FTS!
  7. Congratulations guys, nice to see that FTS is still going strong. 2006 ace championship is something i will not forget so quickly either as finished shared 2nd in the championship it gave some nice races for the tittle fight wich i didnt forget yet. Just a shame that i got some unfortunate DNF,s due to connection problem and lag problems back then with my old pc :p

    Anyway Chris, hope you guys will be in FSR for many years to come. Good luck and best wishes.
  8. Congratulations FTS for 10 years in simracing.
    10 years in a virtual world really is a lot and it shows as you guys are the only ones left from the original teams which started FSR.
    I wish you guys the best of luck in the future and I hope you will make it at least another 10 years.
  9. good luck :)
  10. Enhorabuena Christian, mucha suerte esta temporada !
  11. Very nice article and all the best of luck for this year!
  12. Very very nice, the best luck for this season, I´ll never forget the time I spent in such a great team ;)
  13. When are you going to presentate the new car design? I´m really courious about that! Maybe something total new?
  14. Héhé Christian, I think you'll always remember your title of 2006, but also 2005 :)

  15. Congratulations guys. True pioneers of the sport. A real achievement.