06 November 2020
Zest Racecar Engineering says its move to Silverstone Park couldn’t have been more timely as it can call on neighbouring companies on site to help overcome difficulties elsewhere in the supply chain.
The business, owned by renowned chassis and race engineer Malcolm Cleland, has located to 4,615sq ft premises over two floors at the estate.
Zest is a leading name in race car preparation. It boasts a long list of championship successes with customers in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and South America – in 2019 alone it enjoyed 33 podium results from 39 outings, as well as four titles.
More victories – including a GT racing title – have followed in 2020 in spite of the COVID-19 situation which has caused considerable disruption to the sport.
“We have noticed a massive difference in the supply chain since COVID came along,” reflected Malcolm.
“We were previously in Wellingborough but, being here now, next door to the Silverstone circuit, plus all the facilities at Silverstone Park and other motorsport business on site such as Competition Supplies, Trident and BG… logistically it has made things a lot simpler.
“From a networking point of view, we’re certainly finding it very helpful, particularly when you suddenly need to source parts.
“It’s put us in a stronger position for 2021 when we will be looking potentially to expand into other categories…”
Not all componentry, however, is from the UK supply chain – a significant percentage, due to some of the makes of race cars Zest prepares, needs importing from mainland Europe and that has required a new way of working.
Malcolm continued: “Recently we were on track at Silverstone using parts that we had to CAD-draw up and manufacture in our new workshop – due to the delay in attaining parts from Europe.
“It’s added another dimension to race car preparation and to running the business in terms of squeezing our time.”
Inside its new Silverstone Park unit, Zest has fabricating, composites, gearbox and engine services and chassis set up facilities.
Due to the current COVID situation, the business is just two people at present – Malcolm and 22-year-old race technician Arnold Newcombe, a graduate of the National College for Motorsport which is also located at Silverstone Park.
Malcolm encourages more young people to consider careers as race car technicians and engineers.
He said: “It’s a really interesting career and an exciting environment that teaches young people about being productive and having pride in their work – the result is a direct reflection of their level of effort put in and skill sets acquired.
“It also enables youngsters to mature quickly as it provides them with new found responsibilities. They soon learn to communicate more effectively – a skill that stays with you for the rest of your days.
“I like it when I see young people not afraid to strike up a conversation!
“Motorsport can also be a great teacher when it comes attention to detail, teamwork and showing just how determined people can be – it’s certainly not a ‘9 ‘til 5’ job and in fact can be a 5am ‘til gone midnight job. It requires commitment and dedication and can really shape people with a ‘can-do’ attitude, whether they choose to stay in motorsport or move on to something else.”
To contact Zest Racecar Engineering/Malcolm Cleland: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel 07885 679183.