In motorsport you see technology being applied in fascinating ways every day, we are all constantly striving to make those gains to improve lap times and win more races.
Rich began working with TE nearly at the start of his career. He now has already become rapidly involved as an engineer in our growing motorsport involvement. Rich has been OEM Sales Engineer for Automotive and now a Motorsport Engineer. Orginally from the TE offices in the UK, Rich has recently moved to the Andrettit headquarters in Indianapolis on rotation to work alongside the Formula E and Andretti Autosport teams. He also experiences the operations of all the Andretti programs including IndyCar, Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and GRC. Each day is a new challenge for Rich working with various parties to provide racing solutions with TE products.
Anything can happen during a race weekend. There can be mechanical failures or something quirky with the weather. The problem solving and ingenuity to come up with solutions is fascinating.
How did you get involved and interested in engineering?
Well I've always played with things and been interested in how they work. My dad bought me an old Land Rover when I was young for us to restore and put back on the road together. When I got my first car we worked to restore it as well. My strong interest then lead me to pursue a degree in engineering, as it was already something I felt passionate about from the start.
How is working with the Andretti Team enriching your approach to engineering?
I guess I am probably thinking a little bit more "outside the box." I know it is a cliché, but in racing you do not have to use all of the tried, tested, and validated products that you need to do in mass-production applications. We can try the new and innovative products. It is a great proving ground as products are put straight into harsh environments.
What would you consider your specialty?
Within TE it would be my in-depth knowledge of Automotive’s connector catalogue and their suitable applications. Outside TE it would probably my knowledge & experience of racing Citroën 2CV’s.
Where do you think autosport will be in five years?
I think there will be more of a push towards greener technology and innovation. We have seen Formula-E start with the aim to push the boundaires of EV's. I think that we may see more series looking to incorporate hybrid powertrains, much like Formula 1 and World Endurance Championship already have. I do not think we will lose internal combustion engines, but they are much more likely to incorporate cutting edge hybrid technology.
Which ideas in motosport engineering most interest you?
I would say the fast problem-solving and adaptation on race weekends. Anything can happen during a race weekend. There can be mechanical failures or something quirky with the weather. The problem solving and ingenuity to come up with solutions is fascinating.